Qantas Airways under fire on Facebook following pork, alcohol ban onboard

Last Updated: Thu, Apr 11, 2013 11:50 hrs

Qantas Airways has been bombarded with offensive comments on Facebook following 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, reports The Age.

Some of the less offensive comments on social media included the airline being referred to as "Al-Qantas" and "the flying Mosque-a-roo".

Qantas said it would not change its decision, despite the barrage of negative responses, many of them racist and some calling for the airline to be blackbanned. It said alcohol was still being served on flights, but not used in food preparation.

A spokesperson, however, said that reaction from passengers flying the route has 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 airline has had to moderate comments on its Facebook page, where the move attracted hundreds of responses. It is, however, unable to remove comments from Twitter, where hundreds of angry responses are still online.

In a way, Qantas is doing nothing new with its food offering. For years already, the airline has flown to Jakarta, another Muslim-dominated destination, without pork or alcohol in its in-flight meals.

It is common practice for other airlines flying to such destinations to do the same.

Those airlines include Emirates, Etihad, Malaysian and Virgin Australia, which transits through Abu Dhabi.

Qantas has eight flights daily via Dubai. The airline said last week that it had sold six times more tickets to Europe in the past nine weeks as part of its new partnership with Emirates than it did in the same period last year. (ANI)

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