Spokesperson: Mike Simon, divisional senior vice president corporate communications, Emirates Airline and Group
Plans for 2007?
In 2007, Emirates will continue to expand its operations, supported by the completion of several new major facilities, including: the opening of Dubai airport’s new Terminal 3 dedicated to Emirates' passengers; a new cargo mega terminal; new flight catering kitchens; new crew training centre and a new corporate head office building for the expanding workforce. Emirates will strengthen its route network with the addition of several new destinations and will increase flight frequency and capacity on high-demand routes. The airline expects to continue receiving one new aircraft per month on average.
The Emirates Hotel and Resorts division expects to launch its $82 million Emirates Marina Serviced Apartments and Spa in Dubai by mid-2007. This will be the company’s second hospitality property after the Emirates Al Maha Resort and will offer 251 apartments and eight penthouse suites.
Is Emirates bullish about 2007? Why?
Global demand for air transport services has been growing steadily and Emirates believes this trend will continue. In fact, demand for travel has proved resilient despite several shocks in the past five years to the air travel industry from terrorism, health scares and high fuel prices. Emirates rather wishes it could fast-track the delivery of the 90 plus new jets on order, as it is confident it can fill them. For Emirates, business is booming and it is confident that this will continue into 2007.
For business or leisure, Emirates find that people today want to travel more often and further in greater comfort and in a shorter time. This demand for air transport is being driven by global economic growth and the availability of instant information via the internet or satellite, rising incomes mean people can now better afford to travel and the instantaneous flow of information stimulates travel demand by opening new possibilities for a mobile workforce, international trade and the leisure traveller. IATA forecasts that international air travel will continue to expand at an average annual rate of 4.8 per cent between 2006 and 2010, while air freight traffic is expected to continue growing at 5.3 per cent annually on average.
Strategy in the face of competition?
Competition is nothing new to Emirates, being based in Dubai, where it competes with over 100 airlines under an ‘open skies’ policy with no protection or subsidies.
Emirates takes all competition seriously, but does not spend a lot of energy monitoring its competitors. The carrier prefers to focus on its resources on finding out what its passengers want and then delivering these demands. Emirates is investing millions to enhance the entire travel experience with new services onboard and on the ground. The aim is to provide customers with the best value for money. This means providing them with high quality service and a competitive product at reasonable prices.
New for passengers?
Emirates is set to become the first airline to offer passengers the option of using their own mobile phones onboard in 2007. Emirates is also developing a new children’s product to be introduced in the next 12 months, which will include nutritious meals, puzzles and toys. More travellers can look forward to enjoying lie-flat business class seats on long-haul routes, a refreshed cabin interior and the 600-channel ‘ice’ entertainment on-demand system throughout the entire fleet.
Emirates is fortunate to be based in Dubai, where its geocentric location allows it to potentially serve a large catchment area of some 5.5 billion people within an eight-hour flight. It is no secret that the airline would like to expand in the Americas. The airline is also hoping to strengthen its operations in Australia, Africa and several cities in Europe, as it believes there is till a lot of under-served demand, if granted the rights.