For the first time in its history, Emirates is celebrating the world-famous event that is Oktoberfest. The 18-day Bavarian extravaganza got underway on 16th September with the event culminating on 3rd October. Dating all the way back to 1818, the annual event draws thousands of people to Munich where revellers dress in traditional Bavarian outfits.
Oktoberfest is most famous for its huge beer halls where visitors down traditional German beer in the famous Maßkrug glassware. Accompanying the alcohol-fuelled festivities are funfairs, parades, German folk music and lots of dancing. In fact, Oktoberfest is the largest folk festival in the world.
So how does Emirates plan to get in on the action? In a statement, the Dubai-based airline (famous for its strict alcohol laws) said it wanted to “bring the spirit of Oktoberfest on board”. The airline says it hopes the celebrations will be “really different, fun and memorable experience for everyone to enjoy.”
Premium passengers travelling in Emirates First and Business Class will benefit the most, with Germany’s famous Paulaner beer being served in stein mugs. Paulaner describes itself as the number 1 wheat beer in Germany, calling it a “masterpiece”. The brewery’s lineage dates back to 1634 in Munich and was founded by the Minim friars of the Neudeck ob der Au cloister.
Meanwhile, Bavarian pastries, pretzels and other goodies will be served in the iconic A380 onboard lounge. Even more traditional German fare will be made available in the Emirates premium lounge in Munich.
Economy passengers won’t get quite the same Oktoberfest experience but if you fancy a chicken ragout with mushroom sauce then that’s exactly what Emirates will be serving for the next two weeks. The Oktoberfest experience will only be available on flights to and from Germany to Dubai.
But Emirates is going to have to go some way to beat Lufthansa’s on board Oktoberfest celebrations. Just as in previous years, the German flag-carrier has a special Oktoberfest aircraft with its Trachtencrew flight attendants dressed in traditional Bavarian outfits.
The first flight departed Munich as LH718 to Seoul, South Korea – other long-haul destinations to get the Oktoberfest treatment include New York and San Francisco. A number of European destinations will also be visited by the Trachtencrew during Oktoberfest as well.
Going all the way with their delivery of the decadent folk festival, female Lufthansa flight attendants will be wearing a dark blue Wiesn Dirndl with a silbergrauer apron. The male cabin crew wear short leather pants with a dark blue vest.
And along with the Bavarian specialities on long-haul flights, First and Business Class passengers will even get small cosmetic bags in the Bavarian design.
In December 2016, Emirates celebrated Christmas on board for the time with a specially designed menu for the festive period. The meals featured traditional Christmas fares such as roast turkey and yule log cakes. Emirates rolled out its Christmas offering to all passengers travelling to Europe, Australia and the United States.
Germany has been a particularly important market for Emirates but it has faced intense pressure from Lufthansa and forces within the German government. So far, attempts to push Emirates’ presence back in the country have failed. Emirates insist they are a force for good in Germany.