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An exterior shot of the company’s latest facility

Five-star service Catering giant Emirates Flight Catering is blazing a trail on the sustainability front as it propels its huge catering business forward by MARY JANE PITTILLA


mirates Flight Catering, the inflight and airport lounge catering subsidiary of The Emirates Group, has achieved a significant milestone in its ongoing mission to become a more sustainable business. In June 2018, the Dubai-based company announced a US$40 million joint venture with U.S.-based Crop One Holdings to build the world’s largest vertical farming facility near the new Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Central. Construction work on the facility is under way, and in December 2019 the first products are expected to be delivered to its customers, which include 105 airlines and 25 airport lounges. This innovative development will harvest three US tons of high-quality,

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herbicide-free and pesticide-free leafy greens daily once it reaches full production, while using 99% less water than traditional outdoor fields. Explaining more about the development, Faysal Moufarrej, Chief Operating Officer, Emirates Flight Catering, told PAX International’s Publisher, Aijaz Khan: “It’s indeed one of the major steps forward for us, which is looking at sustainability here. For us, especially in the Middle East, it represents being self-sufficient, being in the middle of the desert and having your own grown fruits and vegetables. We’re starting with leafy [greens] initially and we’re hoping to have it up and running in March 2020, but we’ll have a prototype in the new facility which will be dedicated for our airline usage initially. It will not fulfill

our requirements completely, but that will be a first stage. It’s an amazing project. We’re very proud of it.” Meanwhile, Emirates Flight Catering’s newly developed third wing has begun trading, having opened on November 11, 2018. Moufarrej says it is the largest catering unit in the world, with a capacity of 185,000 meals a day. “We’re proud of it. It was a very successful start,” he says. The facility will cater for the premium classes of its mother company, Emirates Airline. In the middle of February, the production processes of the premium lounges moved there. Emirates’ premium lounges are a cut above those found in other parts of the world, where sandwiches and snacks are offered during certain periods of the day and for only a small number of people. Moufarrej says Emirates’ popular Business Class and First Class lounges serve almost 20,000 meals a day, and the food offering in the lounge is much bigger than the inflight catering side with a rate of consumption almost

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PAX International WTCE 2019  

PAX International WTCE 2019