The holy month of Ramadan commenced this weekend and airline Emirates has reintroduced its dedicated food offering to observers of the reflective period.

Observers of Ramadan typically partake in a fast, abstaining from food and water daily between sunrise and sunset. This presents challenges onboard aircraft when crossing multiple time zones.

Challenging period for airlines

The holy period can present challenges to airlines as they seek to ensure all staff has the appropriate awareness of the related practices. Some also face logistical challenges like sourcing additional menu options for passengers.

Emirates passengers opting to break their fasts will be given the option to dine with specially designed fast-break meals. The boxed meals were designed by the airline in collaboration with local artists at Mawaheb Art Studio in Dubai.

emirates introduces ramadan menu for those fasting
The box-sets were designed by Emirates in collaboration with local artists in Dubai | © Emirates

Each set contains grain-based cold salads and sandwiches. Other items included are seedless dates, a selection of proteins, Leben (fermented milk), and traditional Arabic bread. They have been packaged so passengers can opt to take them away to eat later.

Selected routes will offer the box sets, in addition to the existing in-flight hot food offerings.

“To ensure the highest levels of accuracy for fasting Muslim passengers, Emirates uses a unique tool to calculate the correct timings for imsak (the time to commence fasting) and iftar (the first meal after sunset) while in-flight, based on the times of the sunrise and sunset of the location the flight is passing by using the aircraft’s longitude, latitude, and altitude. When the sun sets, passengers will be officially informed of the iftar time by the captain.”

Dates and water will also be available at boarding gates and there will be special options in airport lounges in Dubai.

As the UAE’s flag carrier, Emirates will be keen to show its awareness of the holy practices and to demonstrate that it is an accommodating airline for Muslim travellers. As airlines recover from the downturn in travel as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, drawing passengers remains the number one priority.

What do you think of Emirates’ dedicated offerings for fasting passengers? Let us know in the comments below.

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