If you’re flying on Qantas Airlines to or from Europe and you want a ham sandwich, a beer, or any liquor, here are three words for you: when pigs fly.
The Australian airline now uses Dubai as a stopover, so the airline is bending to Dubai’s Islamic prohibitions against pork or alcohol. No meals will be served with alcohol or any pork products, but patrons can still order a mezze platter with more typical Arabic food.
A Qantas spokesman said, “Qantas in-flight catering often reflects the cultural and regional influences of the international destinations we fly to. On flights to and from Hong Kong and China, our menus include regionally inspired dishes such as stir fries and to Singapore we have noodle options.”
On flights to the largely Muslim Indonesian capital Jakarta, Qantas also eschews pork and alcohol.
Qantas is not alone; Virgin Australia follows similar rules on flights to and from Abu Dhabi; all meals are prepared according to Islamic law.
Qantas used to partner with British Airways, which used Singapore for stopovers, but since Qanatas merged with Emirates, Dubai is the new stopover.
The merger of Qantas and Emirates has initiated a price war. British Airways lowered its rates to $1777 to the UK via Singapore; Abu Dhabi-based carrier Etihad has return fares to Manchester or London at $1727; and Virgin has new fares to London out of Sydney ($1845) and Brisbane ($1869).