They say 'pigs don't fly'; but at least pork used to on Qantas flights bound for Europe until a recent partnership with Dubai based carrier, Emirates.

Whilst a ham and egg omelette may be a western breakfast staple, dining menus on Qantas flights through Dubai now state that meals do not contain pork or alcohol that are both  forbidden in the UAE. New menu items have instead been introduced including a mezze plate of traditional Middle Eastern cousine. In catering for anticipated increased number of Arab passengers, in-air announcements in Arabic now follow English, in a trend consistent with other global carriers to regional destinations.

This step towards cultural competency is not new for Qantas who already offer pork and alcohol free flights to Jakarta, Indonesia, that has a large muslim population. On it's flights to China, Qantas similarly offers regional and cultural menu options that includes stir fries.  

Instead of 'treating people the way we would like to be treated' , Qantas has taken the higher ground to 'treat people the way they would like to be treated'. A basic customer service premise, fundamental to profitability, yet so easily forgotten.

Consider for a moment the changing nature of your own customer and staff community. How does your corporate cultural competency shape up to the cultural changes in the world around us?

Corporate cultural competency training is cheaper than you might think, and the dividends are truly enviable. As global economic borders continue to blur, the need for cultural competency has become critical to the short term planning agenda. Those on the front foot are training their teams today.


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