Emirates ups investment in wine as part of long-term strategy
Emirates continues to invest heavily in its world-class wine programme. In 2015, the airline purchased a record of over 13 million bottles of wine worth US$140 million – more than twice the value of wine purchases in the previous year. The wines are for customers across all three cabins, and most will only be served on board in seven to 10 years.
The increasing investment is in response to the airline’s expanding network, and reflects its commitment to offering customers the best possible product. In 2015, Emirates’ customers consumed 11.4 million bottles of wine across all classes, with 10 million single-serve bottles in Economy Class alone. This was a 27% increase from the year before, when nine million bottles of wine were consumed across all classes.
“In every aspect of our business, our aim is to provide the best experience for our customers and we have curated a wine programme that is reflective of that promise. Over the years, we’ve built a wine programme that has garnered the interest of exclusive vineyards in the world, and we are proud of the fact that our wine lists are comparable to what you might find in a top restaurant in the best cities around the world,” said Sir Tim Clark, President, Emirates Airline.
He added: “Many of our customers have expressed their surprise and delight at the variety and quality of wines that Emirates offers on board, and they wonder how on earth we manage to procure such rare or exclusive vintages. The answer is long-term planning and investment.”
At the heart of Emirates’ wine strategy is its unique approach to purchasing exceptional wines en primeur, years before they are released to the market, and then allowing these vintages to mature and reach their potential before serving on board. While most airlines source their wines through brokers or tenders, Emirates’ own team of wine connoisseurs has built direct relationships with some of the world’s most prestigious vineyards to handpick and secure the most exclusive and rare wines for its customers.
Since 2006, Emirates has invested US$690 million on wines, some of which will only be ready for drinking in 2025. The Emirates wine cellar, the largest of any airline, currently stores 2.2 million bottles of vintage wines.