Dubai AirportUAE with a population of around 9 Million has 4 Airlines fighting for the share of Travel industry wallet.   It means UAE residents have global as well as four local airlines choices.  The four Airlines are …….. 

  1. Emirates Airlines Headquartered in Dubai
  2. Etihad Airways Headquartered in Abu Dhabi
  3. Fly Dubai – Budget airline in Dubai and
  4. Air Arabia – Budget airline in Sharjah

Among the four the oldest being Emirates and youngest being Fly Dubai.  All four Airlines are growing in terms of increasing fleet size, new routes, top line revenue and bottom line revenue.  And to sustain growth, they must adopt strategies for Red Ocean and Blue Ocean marketplace.  The biggest cost in airline industry is the cost of fuel hence airlines must continuously explore how they can save on fuel cost. The second focus should be on faster turnaround time wherein efficiency is expected at every step of the operations.  The third focus should be on SMAC technologies (Social Media, Mobile, Analytics and Cloud ) because SMAC is impacting how people Plan, Purchase and Travel.  Having said that the four airlines in the UAE are keeping each other on their toes.

Emirates strategy is focusing on 3C’s that is Travelers Comfort, Convenience and Connectivity to populous destination.  Other broad strategy is to control cost and increase operational efficiency.

  1. CONVENIENCE: Emirates won ‘World’s Best Airline Inflight Entertainment’ at Skytrax World Airline Awards for the 11th consecutive year wherein Emirates claim to provide over 2,000 channels of on-demand entertainment on ice Digital Widescreen.
  2. COMFORT: Experience luxury and comfort in Emirates’ lounges. Emirates opened 38th dedicated international lounge at Narita International Airport.
  3. CONNECTIVITY: New destinations being added – Multan – Pakistan in August 2015
  4. OPERATIONAL EFFICIENCY: Purchase of New long haul and fuel efficient aircrafts.Emirates.1

Etihad Airways shares a similar strategy as Emirates; focusing on 3C’s that is Travelers Comfort, Convenience and Connectivity through partnership to more populous destination.  Other strategy is to control cost and increase operational efficiency.

  1. CONVENIENCE: Convenient Check-in facility such as in Abu Dhabi City and  Dubai mall to speed up check-in.
  2. COMFORT:  Inflight Chefs and Food & Beverage Managers; comfortable Business Studio.
  3. CONNECTIVITY through Partnership: A five-year A$30 million marketing deal with Tourism Australia. partnership with Air Seychelles; New partnership agreement with MSC Cruises S.A., the world’s largest privately-owned global cruise line, which helps develop Abu Dhabi into a leading international cruise destination; codeshare agreement with Hong Kong Airlines
  4. OPERATIONAL EFFICIENCY: Purchase of New, long haul and fuel efficient aircrafts.

Fly Dubai is a budget Airline and the new member of UAE travel industry. It has a hybrid model i.e. budget airlines with inflight experience. The strategy is Inflight Experience, Connectivity and Operational efficiency.

  1. INFLIGHT EXPERIENCE: Inflight entertainment.
  2. CONNECTIVITY: New and deep connectivity within countries such as Iran.
  3. OPERATIONAL EFFICIENCY: Purchase of New and fuel efficient aircrafts. Keep operational cost under control and unbundling the price.

Air Arabia is  the first budget airline in UAE. The strategy is Connectivity and Operational efficiency.

  1. CONNECTIVITY: New destination and first Low cost airlines to enter China. Two ports of disembarkation – Sharjah airport and RAK Airport.
  2. OPERATIONAL EFFICIENCY: Purchase of New and fuel efficient aircrafts. Hiring talented marketing force for various destinations.  Technology adoption and talented resources to run the technologies especially online portal and call center.  Keep operational cost under control and Unbundling the price.Airarabia

Currently consumers control the travel industry whereas in the very near future, Airline will control the consumer feasible with intelligent analytics on consumer data. Such as

  • Travelers would be notified of less traffic routers when driving to airport or any delays, airport map or other.  And scope of options is limited by your imagination.
  • Ticket Pricing will be flexible and cheaper.
  • You will decide who sits next to you and probably get to know him before even you board the flight
  • You will control you lounge experience and inflight experience on your mobile device. What movies you will see and newspaper will be loaded on your mobile devices.
  • There will be no check in and you could be issued Boarding card on booking along with RFID baggage tag. Thus reducing time to check in contributing to faster turnaround of aircraft.
  • Bio-fuels will replace fuels and you will have completely green airlines.

Having said that currently all the four airlines are fighting in the Red Ocean trying to take share from the other.  I also did not observe any collaboration among the four since they belong to the same Country. But am certain airlines are working on new business model and also on bringing focus on new generation of travelers and new kind of services.