Focussing on three crucial elements – inflight food and beverage; inflight product; and cabin crew management – the programme seeks to ensure the airline exceeds the expectations of its Indian passengers through regionalisation of the product on Indian routes.
Initiatives under the ‘Journey Through India’ campaign are featuring on Emirates flights to Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Calicut, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai, and Thiruvananthapuram.
The menu on all routes and in all classes has been created to meet the regional preferences of Indian travellers. In addition it has been strengthened with a greater presence of Indian dishes, especially vegetarian options, while western dishes continue to be offered to cater to the global tastes of travellers.
In all classes, route specific mini savouries prior to meal service and after meal Indian digestives have been introduced. Advancements in the First and Business class menu include a choice of three hors d’oeuvres including Indian options. In Economy class a bar service has been introduced prior to the meal, which in itself has been boosted with a choice of two Indian and one Western dish. All passengers are served a welcome drink.
Inflight entertainment has also been regionalised and now offers route specific boarding music and reading material. Emirates’ patented and award-winning ice (Information, Communication and Entertainment) system that offers over 600 channels of entertainment is now offered on more Indian routes than previously. Although flying times to/from India are short, flights with or without ‘ice’ now boast an enhanced selection of programmes and music in varied Indian languages.
Cabin crew are an integral part of the Emirates’ experience and the Dubai-based airline has embarked on a massive internal communications programme to improve its crew’s awareness of ‘Destination India’. Over 10,000 of Emirates multi-cultural crew are improving their knowledge of India through route-specific booklets, online training courses and briefings prior to each flight.
Crew have also received a specially-produced DVD titled ‘Journey through India’ containing an introduction to the country, its diverse customs, and guidelines for interaction with passengers from different Indian states.
Terry Daly, Emirates’ Divisional Senior Vice President, Service Delivery, noted: “India is a diverse and large country that boasts several languages, customs, and cuisines. As we expand our services to and from India, it is equally important that we enhance the quality of our service by adapting it to regional preferences. Initiatives under the ‘Journey Through India’ programme will help sensitise our crew members to cultural differences and enable them to better serve the needs of our varied Indian customers.”
In the second phase of the programme, regional language enabled crew will operate the flights.
Emirates operates 163 flights per week to 10 Indian cities.