Chefs receive their wings to join Gulf Air in-flight service team for unique First Class initiative in the Middle East
Six qualified five star chefs have officially received their ‘wings’ and have been welcomed as official members of Gulf Air’s First Class cabin crew team following their completion of the airline’s specialist in-flight training programme.
The chefs will form an integral part of the airline’s First Class cabin crew from September 12 on the Abu Dhabi to London route, creating a true ‘restaurant in the sky’ - the first service of its kind by a Middle East airline and the first of its kind in the region.
In presenting their official cabin crew accreditation at the Gulf Air Headquarters, the airline’s President and Chief Executive James Hogan said the chefs would add a new dimension to Gulf Airs First Class service - by providing customers with the choice, quality and individual attention associated with international standard fine dining restaurants.
“This is a key initiative to regain our market share with the high yield business customer, a segment of the market that Gulf Air used to own,” he said. “First Class customers flying to London can expect freshly tossed salads and meals uniquely presented in line with modern restaurant trends and prepared specifically to their individual tastes.”
Abu Dhabi and Bahrain to London flights are the first to have the new concept introduced, with plans to expand to other popular long haul destinations across the network, beginning with Paris and Frankfurt.
Chef Simon Kline, who has worked in a variety of high quality establishments, from small restaurants through to the 5 star King Edward Hotel in Toronto Canada, will be on board the first flights from Abu Dhabi bound for London Heathrow. He said he was highly excited at the prospect of being part of something new for the region.
“Since I arrived in the airline a few weeks ago, I have been caught up in the wave of enthusiasm surrounding the management’s efforts to re-establish Gulf Air to its former glory as one of the world’s most respected airlines.
“I love to cook and I love to fly. The combination means that I can assure customers of a culinary experience of the highest level when they fly Gulf Air First Class.”
In another move unique to the Middle East, Gulf Air will also introduce a “Dine on Demand’ dining option on night flights, whereby the chefs will take orders from an expansive menu, and present and serve when the passenger chooses, allowing customers greater flexibility to dine when they desire.
Mr Hogan believes the new services in First Class reflect the greater focus on the customer and their needs: “The new initiative focuses on providing top-quality fresh food at flexible times with the best of service. It is all about the airline reflecting the needs of the customers, and not the customers fitting in with our needs.”