The founder of Dilmah is also celebrating his 70th year in the tea industry this month
There’s a saying that oolong, a Chinese tea variety, develops depth in flavour and sophistication as it ages, transforming into a finer and smoother version of itself. Everyone can agree this is the case with Merill J. Fernando, the legendary tea-maker and founder of one of the world’s most celebrated brands, Dilmah. Emirates wished the South Asian industrialist a happy 90th birthday and a historic 70 years at the apex of the tea industry.
In a video greeting Darren Bott, Emirates Vice President of Catering, Global Food & Beverage, praised the tea legend, while highlighting the partnership that Emirates and Dilmah have forged over 28 years. He said: “It goes without saying that you are an industry legend and a father figure of the international tea community. It is an absolute pleasure for me and the Emirates team to have worked alongside you for the past 28 years.”
Crafting extraordinary experiences for Indian travellers
Chai, cha, chiya or chaya, as it’s referred to regionally holds a special place in Indian culture and is an ideal companion for daydreaming or unwinding after a hectic day. From bonding over clay cups served by the beloved chaiwallahs to hosting glamourous garden tea parties, India runs on chai.
Sipping Dilmah’s Earl Grey Tea or any of the other local Black Tea varieties served onboard Emirates flights transports passengers to the lush tea gardens of India. It is one among many efforts by Emirates to make Indians feel at home at 40,000 feet and show its continued commitment to making every flight an extraordinary experience.
Emirates and Dilmah – a global partnership in tea
Since 1992, Emirates has been serving 12 different varieties of Dilmah tea in its lounges and onboard its flights. Behind every blend is the passion of Dilmah’s founder, Merill J. Fernando, who launched the brand with the aim to produce the finest, freshest quality tea made from hand-picked leaves from the central hills of Sri Lanka. All Economy Class passengers can enjoy the Dilmah experience with a cup of Premium Ceylon Black Tea or Natural Green Tea.
“As you know, at Emirates we take great pride in serving your tea selections on board, and over the course of our 28-year partnership we have together created some fantastic money-can’t-buy experiences for our guests. The most recent was our world’s highest tea master class aboard one of our A380s in the bar, when you and I hosted our guests,” added Mr. Bott in his video greeting. Each year, Emirates brews over 33 million cups of Dilmah tea from the specially curated tea menu available in all classes, taking the Dilmah brand to more than 150 destinations across the six continents. The longstanding partnership between Emirates and Dilmah has resulted in brewing the finest Ceylon teas onboard and at Emirates Lounges around the world.