LONDON – The Gulf carrier Emirates has taken home three awards at the Skytrax World Airline Awards 2022, including World’s Best Economy Class, World’s Best Economy Class Catering, and for the 17th consecutive time, World’s Best Inflight Entertainment.
This latest recognition from Skytrax comes on the heels of the airline’s recent announcement that it is investing over US$ 2 billion to enhance its inflight customer experience.
Photo: Thomas Ney,Divisional Senior Vice President Service Delivery – Emirates, receives a World’s Best Economy Class Catering award at The StarTrax Awards, The Langham Hotel, London. Photo credits: Simon Jacobs/PinPep
A massive planned retrofit
This includes one of the largest retrofit projects in aviation history spanning 120 aircraft which will soon sport the airline’s latest interior concepts, a new hospitality-focused service delivery model, and product enhancements across all cabins.
The planned retrofit and interior upgrades will take place this year. Emirates will also be investing over US$ 350 million in next-generation inflight entertainment systems with Thales.
The Thales upgrade means that passengers will be able to access a massive library of 5,000 channels on high-definition screens, along with a host of other high-tech features on Emirates’ incoming fleet of Airbus A350 aircraft.
In the catering department, Emirates also prides itself on celebrating unique cultures and traditions from around the globe by offering signature dishes for occasions like Diwali, Christmas, Ramadan, Eid Al Adha, Lunar New Year and more recently, Oktoberfest and Onam.
A multinational crew complement
Emirates’ on-board product experience is complemented by the airline’s cosmopolitan team of cabin crew who hail from over 130 nationalities.
Clearly, Emirates takes its in-flight service seriously, and it states that crew members receive hospitality experience through a rigorous training programme that was designed in partnership with Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne.
Emirates and sustainability
It is refreshing to see that the airline not only aims for excellence in its inflight customer service, but sustainability and green initiatives are also considered in that process.
The airline states that: “Driving radical changes in the customer experience also includes small touches that make a big difference, not only for customers but the planet as well.”
The airline also offers sustainably-made amenity kit bags for Economy Class customers on select long haul flights, which have been newly redesigned to represent the four elements – fire, water, earth and air, as a reminder of the careful balance required to preserve for the future of our planet.
The kit’s travel essentials – socks, eyeshades, toothbrush and tooth paste, as well as bookmark, are all made from environmentally-friendly materials and come in natural earth tones.
The pre-flight experience
On the ground, Emirates has been working hard to create a smart contactless journey for its customers. Travellers can choose to use its integrated biometric path in DXB to check in for their flight, complete immigration formalities, and board their flights. Customers can also use the airline’s touchless self-check-in and bag drop kiosks at Dubai International (DXB).
The smart contactless experience continues on board with digital menus available on the Emirates app, and customers can also use the app to create a preferred playlist for ice.
A glance at the projects and initiatives that Emirates has planned for upgrading its in-flight services and customer experience – right down to the thoughtful touches of sustainable passenger products – makes it clearer why the airline took out the Skytrax awards that it did.
It does seem as though Emirates have got the inflight entertainment and dining experience down to a fine art.