Qantas stands firm despite social media uproar

Qantas is weathering an attack on social media over its decision to ditch food containing alcohol or pork on its European flights through Dubai.

The decision, made out of respect for Islamic beliefs, follows the new partnership between Qantas and Emirates that came into effect on March 31.

Some of the less offensive comments on social media included the airline being referred to as "Al-Qantas" and "the flying Mosque-a-roo". "No pork or pork products, announcements in Arabic, no alcohol … who owns Qantas?" asked one user.

Qantas said on Tuesday it would not change its decision, despite the barrage of negative responses, many of them racist and some calling for the airline to be black banned.

It said alcohol was still being served on flights, but not used in food preparation.

Some of the less offensive comments on social media included the airline being referred to as ''Al-Qantas''

"Our inflight catering reflects the cultural and regional influences of the international destinations that we fly to," the airline said in a statement.

Despite the pasting on social media, a spokesman said the reaction from passengers flying the route had been "positive".

The menu, written in Arabic and English, includes chicken and fish in economy, while business passengers are feted with lamb cassoulet, chicken schnitzel and even a mezze plate that the menu says is "inspired by Emirates".

"The feedback from customers on-board has been fantastic … we do have a good reputation for the quality of our food, compared with other international airlines."

However, the airline had to moderate comments on its Facebook page. "In line with our social media policy we have removed some of the inappropriate comments," the spokesman said.

Qantas' menu changes are nothing new. For years, the airline has flown to Jakarta without pork or alcohol in its inflight meals. It is common practice for airlines flying to such destinations to do the same. Those airlines include Emirates, Etihad, and Virgin Australia.

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