You won't be able to get any pork on your fork on Qantas flights to and from Europe after it teamed up with Middle Eastern airline Emirates.
You won't be able to get any pork on your fork on Qantas flights to and from Europe after it teamed up with Middle Eastern airline Emirates.

No pigging out in the air on the way to Europe

OPINION: Qantas's decision to stop serving any pork or meals cooked with alcohol on its flights to and from Europe following its partnership with Middle Eastern airline Emirates is an interesting one.

The embattled Aussie airline announced the decision recently, and all throughout last week it copped an absolute hammering on social media across the world.

The story made it on to the UK news website for the Daily Mail, and the negative comments flowed like non-alcoholic wine.

"Compulsory prayer mats next on all Qantas flights?" asked Chris from Oslo.

Other commenters went further, urging a boycott of Qantas and accusing it of selling out in the name of political correctness.

Within Australia, the backlash was just as virulent.

On the face of it, however, there isn't anything all that sinister about the controversial menu changes.

These flights are stopping over in Dubai, meaning many of the passengers on any given flight could well be Islamic men and women who would not eat any meal containing pork, or one that has been cooked with alcohol.

If Qantas kept those items on the menu, then it would risk wasting quite a bit of money preparing meals that many people on the flight would not choose, flight after flight, day after day.

Yes, adding a dash of wine to certain dishes can make a world of difference.

And yes, pork is incredibly tasty - bacon is a staple of my diet and a slow-cooked roast pork with crackling is another favourite.

But I'm pretty sure I could make it through an international flight without them.

To put it another way, why should I expect Qantas to risk losing money preparing meals for me?

The reasoning behind many of the complaints is understandable. Qantas is an Australian airline, not a Middle Eastern one.

If an Australian flying to London wants to eat a meal of pork with a sauce that includes wine they should be able to, the reasoning goes.

While that makes sense, it doesn't change the fact that the flight will be stopping to drop off and pick up new passengers in Dubai, and such a meal would be an absolute waste of time, effort and money for Qantas to prepare for many of those passengers.

In the cut-throat world of passenger airlines, the profit margins are getting thinner by the day and you can't really begrudge any airline from looking at ways to get an economic advantage.

Although given the amount of people around the world who have been outraged by Qantas's latest decision, maybe that advantage they were looking for won't be forthcoming.