In an average year, Emirates’ inhouse catering department serves up a staggering 110 million inflight meals for the 60 million passengers that fly with the airline. Around 185,000 meals are made up every single day by more than 1,800 chefs in a giant 66,000 sqm catering facility which sits on the edge of Dubai International Airport (DXB) – The largest inflight catering facility in the world.
But the manufacturing lines that would normally operate 24-hours a day, seven days a week are currently sitting all but idle. Rather than working flat out to fully cater in excess of 600 flights that depart from Dubai per day, the workers now have nothing to do… there are no flights and when limited operations resume on Monday only a handful of services will run.
So how are the airline’s chefs keeping themselves busy during these unprecedented times? Well, by teaching us how to recreate some of our favourite inflight meals that many a frequent flyer has been missing since flights were all but grounded worldwide.
And Emirates’ chefs certainly have a large repertoire of recipes to choose from – the airline has a bank of 12,450 recipes that range from standard Economy Class fare to special menus developed for passengers with intolerances, allergies or religious needs.
The most popular dish? Chicken Biryani and Machboos according to Emirates – a whopping 4,000 tonnes of chicken is needed every year to keep this dish available.
But it’s not just Chicken Biryani that you’ll be able to enjoy at home with Emirates’ new YouTube videos. “Now that everyone is mostly home and looking for some pointers on what to whip up for dinner, we decided to share the recipes from some of our signature dishes,” explained Darren Bott, vice president of catering – global food and beverage at Emirates.
Saud Al Matrooshi, the first Emirati chef at Emirates guides us through some of his favourite recipes but if you just want to get back to flying then Emirates has a message for you too. Yesterday, the airline launched a new commercial with a positive message about the Coronavirus pandemic – one day soon, Emirates will reconnect the world.
Hopefully, that day will come very soon.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.