EMIRATES AIRLINE was launched on 25th October 1985, when it flew its first flight out of Dubai with just two aircrafts—a leased Boeing 737 and an Airbus 300 B4. It is wholly owned by the Dubai Government. Emirates with numerous question marks and full stops have emerged as one of the leading Global airlines and now envisions itself to be among the top 100 global brands.
In this post I will analyse how and what Emirates has done differently and scientifically to beat the odds to emerge as one of the strongest entity in the Aviation industry.
STRONG LEADERSHIP: Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al-Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline is also one of the leaders of Dubai’s wider transformation extending him a broader perspective of the industry. Under his dynamic leadership, Emirates has grown from a regional airline with just two leased aircrafts and three destinations, to an international airline with a fleet of 190+ aircrafts and as many destinations across the globe.
CHAIRMAN & CEO ANNUAL REVIEW REPORT: Chairman annual reports have been scientifically crafted sighting numerous challenges in the initial statements and then moving onto how Emirates resolved them. Thus, creating trust in Emirates – a brilliant business strategy. (Check out the Chairman and CEO annual review report http://tinyurl.com/p2tcrc9 )
CONTINUITY OF MANAGEMENT TEAM: The key to the Emirates success has been the CONTINUITY of its management team. At the helm of the company we find a group of talented executives with proven track records in their fields of expertise. Now this philosophy drills down across Emirates DNA to RETAIN the best talent.
MARKETING err CORPORATE COMMUNICATION: Emirates has always come out with brilliant marketing strategies and tag lines. The current “Hello Tomorrow” campaign has great recall value. “Beijing, Once forbidden now daily”; “Even Time flies on Emirates” are the outputs of creative minds that contribute to Emirates’s recall value.
- NAME: The name “EMIRATES” is simple to pronounce and recall. It resonates trust in peoples mind.
- COLOUR: The colour RED in the Emirates logo represents prosperity, self-confidence, passion and leadership, whereas WHITE depicts nobility, elegance and purity. Some of the leading brands make use of the colour RED such as Coca cola, Avis, and Kmart and so on.
- SPORTS SPONSORSHIP: Emirates is a fairly young airline and competes with household names in the industry hence, it began sponsorship to acquire people’s mindshare, for example, the sponsoring of Arsenal. In addition to shirt sponsorship, Emirates holds the naming rights to Arsenal’s home ground, Emirates Stadium, a state-of-the-art 60,000 seat arena in North London. Emirates also sponsored AC Milan (http://www.acmilan.com/en ) ; few Cricket clubs and small hockey clubs too.
- FOCUS ON EXPERIENCE: Emirates focus on Experience for upper cabin class passengers provided throughout the airport lounge (FRESHEN, ENERGIZE & UNWIND) and inflight services (COMFORT) has been a phenomenal success.
- ON FLIGHT TECHNOLOGY LEADER: Emirates has focused on Experience through engagement and entertainment. They were the FIRST to deploy seat back TV’s in 1992, driven Video on Demand progress, Wi-Fi, Internet and use of your own mobile on flight.
- SOCIAL MEDIA: “Brands can be taken down by Social Media.” Emirates has a great presence & engagement on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/Emirates ) with around 2.4 million likes ( more than any other Middle East Airline) as of Jan. 4, 2014. Its approach is a lesson in Social Media engagement and speaks of its popularity which is directly proportional to best engagement practices. Emirates has a presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Google+
DUBAI – EMIRATES PARTNERSHIP ( win win) : Emirates success is Dubai success. When in 2008 Dubai was under a negative global perception Emirates spent around USD 20 Million on marketing campaign ( 14 advertisements) to promote Dubai. Emirates had also set up Emirates Holidays in 1988 that was later changed to Arabian Adventures and their objective was to promote Dubai across the globe. Subsequently this role was taken up by DTCM upon its establishment in 1992.
Dubai has also understood the scope of partnership and growth of the Aviation industry. Dubai has supported and invested in Aviation infrastructure including Maktoum International Airport.
HEADQUARTER: Emirates is headquartered in Dubai which is in the center of East and West and a convenient HUB and SPOKE for the global travel industry. Numerous global events are being held in Dubai that further extends Emirates visibility in the global travel industry. Now the current Dubai Expo 2020 hype will add further trust and experience to Emirates Airlines image.
DUBAI AIRPORT TERMINAL # 3 EXPERIENCE: Dubai Airport Terminal # 3 for Emirates Airplines is a different travel experience for outbound and inbound passengers. It has also acted as a magnet for the increase in the number of passengers with a year on year growth of 18%.
EMIRATES CULTURE: Emirates Airlines employs over 55,000 people from across 163 different nationalities and they act as a powerful WORD OF MOUTH SELL for Emirates. Hence, it is imperative that Emirates employs the best and provides them with the INDUSTRY’S BEST BENEFITS and PERKS. No wonder Emirates has emerged as the preferred organization for every job seeker in the region.
GROWTH STRATEGY: Invest in the biggest and best ……. policy. As a replacement and incremental growth plan Emirates has invested in large and long haul airplanes specifically 150 of 777x planes. This will provide around 17% fuel efficiency mitigating fuel cost which is 41% of the Emirates total cost. Further this will also provide for one stop flights to any destination across the globe funneling (Hub and Spoke) through Dubai. Qantas 10 years partnership was a strategic decisions aligned with the ONE STOP FLIGHT to any destination across the globe.
CSR : The Emirates Airline Foundation ( http://www.emiratesairlinefoundation.org ) provides humanitarian, philanthropic aid and services for children in need across the globe.
- Be Different: There are three powerful global Airlines alliances i.e. Star Alliance; ONEWORLD and SkyTeam. Emirates have decided to be different and not be part of any of the three alliances.
- Finally, Emirates faces stiff competition from regional airlines including Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways that have similar growth ambitions. And this competition keeps Emirates management on their heels to constantly analyse global trends and leverage it to align their growth.