Emirates Airlines

Emirates Airlines

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Emirates Airlines (shortened form: Emirates) ( is an airline based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates owned by The Emirates Group. It operates services to the Middle East, Far East, Europe, Africa, Indian subcontinent, Asia-Pacific and North America. Its main base is Dubai International Airport.


The airline was established in May 1985 by the Dubai government. It started operations with flights to Mumbai (Bombay) and Delhi followed by Karachi in September. A single Airbus A300 and a Boeing 737-300 were leased from Pakistan International Airlines (PIA). Subsequently two Boeing 727-200 Advanced were acquired from the UAE's Royal Flight. These aircraft were used until Emirates began taking delivery of a fleet of newly built Airbus A300-600R and A310-300 widebodied aircraft. It has been awarded a four star ranking from Skytrax.

The first European destination to be added in July 1987 was London-Gatwick. Far Eastern operations commenced to Singapore in June 1990. Emirates acquired a financial stake of 40% and a management contract for Air Lanka on 1 April 1998, which subsequently changed its name to Sri Lankan Airlines. Emirates SkyCargo is the cargo subsidiary of Emirates.

Emirates received the prestigious airline of the year award for the first time in 2001 and repeated the feat on 2002 to become a two time award winner of the airline of the year.

For 2004–05, Emirates paid an increased dividend of Dh368 million to the Government of Dubai, compared to Dh329 million the year before. In total, the ownership received Dh1.1 billion from Emirates since dividends started being paid in 1999. Having provided an initial start-up capital of US$10m plus and an additional investment of circa US$80m at the time of the airline's inception,[1] the Dubai government is the sole owner of the company. However, it does not put any new money into it, nor does it interfere with running the airline.

In November 2006 it was announced that Emirates had signed a deal with mobile communications form AeroMobile. This will allow passengers on board Emirates flights to use their mobile phones to call or text people on the ground. This is the first airline in aviation history to confirm a deal which will allow passengers to use their personal mobile phone in early January 2007 on selected Boeing 777.

Emirates won the award for best inflight entertainment 2006 from Skytrax, because of their ICE (information communication entertainment) system, with the biggest selling point being over 500 channels of Movies, Television and music.

Emirates has begun construction on its own luxury five star hotel and towers. It is located next to Dnata headquarters on the Sheikh Zayed highway.

In mid-2007, Emirates will feature docking capability for Apple Computer's iPod portable music and video player. This will allow the device's battery to be charged, but will also allow integration with Emirates' In-flight Entertainment (IFE) system. This will also enable the IFE system to play music, television shows, or movies stored on the iPod, as well as function as a control system.

On the 20th of February 2007, Emirates was named the UAE's top brand among 25 other local firms. It has a base value of US$ 6.3 billion.

Business model

Emirates Airline's commercial success is based on the following principles:

An Airbus A380 seen painted in the Emirates Airlines colors at the 2005 Dubai Airshow.It has a very lean workforce, comparable to the leading low-cost "no frills" airlines rather than other traditional "flag carriers". This, along with a simpler organisational structure, allows the airline to maintain low overhead costs. Its low cost base, which some industry analysts believe is second only to Ryanair on a cash cost per seat basis, allows it to profitably serve secondary destinations as well as connect such places via its global Dubai hub.

Emirates has so far refused to join any of the major global airline alliances and questions the advantages such alliances bring for the airlines as well as their customers, especially after taking into consideration the high costs of compliance of alliance membership.

It operates an all-widebody fleet resulting in lower unit costs compared with airlines operating mixed narrow/wide-body fleets. This enables Emirates to use these aircraft's cargo capacity to boost its overall revenues and total profits, especially at times when the passenger business passes through a seasonal trough or when an economic downturn adversely impacts the passenger numbers. Its Dubai hub also allows it to take advantage of increasing cargo business between China/India and West Africa.
It operates a young, fuel-efficient fleet.
As a "youthful" company Emirates has virtually no legacy costs compared with its older, established peers. (It also helps that all forms of strikes are banned in the UAE.)

Place in airline industry

Large discounts offered by Airbus and Boeing to any airline willing to order new aircraft from either manufacturer during the economic downturn caused by the 9/11 attacks as well as Emirates' strong financial position compared with most of its competitors at the time, enabled the airline to take advantage of this situation by placing huge orders for up to 150 long-haul widebodied jets. These orders included both an order for 45 Airbus A380 "super jumbos" as well as a major order for Boeing's increasingly popular 777-300ER that will make Emirates the world's largest 777 operator. Emirates also managed to transform itself from a small- to medium-sized regional airline into a global carrier as a result of placing these orders.


The established network carriers in Europe and Australia, i.e. Air France-KLM, British Airways, Lufthansa, and Qantas, perceive Emirates' strategic decision to reposition itself as a global carrier as a major threat because it increasingly enables an ever-growing number of air travellers to by-pass traditional airline hubs such as London Heathrow, Paris Charles de Gaulle, and Frankfurt on their way between Europe/North America and Asia/Australia by changing flights in Dubai instead. These carriers also find it difficult to deal with the growing competitive threat Emirates poses to their business because of their much higher cost base. Some of these carriers—notably Air France and Qantas—are so concerned about the detrimental effects of Emirates' growth on their future ability to compete with it on a level playing field that they have resorted to openly accusing their Dubai-based rival of receiving hidden state subsidies and of maintaining too cosy a relationship with Dubai's airport authority as well as its aviation authority, both of which are also wholly state-owned entities that share the same government owner with the airline. In addition, they have also accused Emirates of taking unfair advantage of its government shareholder's sovereign borrower status. They claim that this masks its true financial performance and reduces its borrowing costs below market rates.


The average age of the Emirates fleet is 5.4 years as of February 2007.

Emirates has ordered 45 airbus A380 aircraft. It will be the third airline to receive the aircraft, after launch airline Singapore Airlines and Qantas. Forty-one passenger A380-800s are to be purchased and two are to be leased from International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC). Two freighter A380-800Fs were ordered for Emirates SkyCargo. However, this was changed to the passenger model in May 2006. Their first A380 was to enter service in October 2006[6] but will now not be delivered until early 2008.

As of November 20, 2005, Emirates had an orderbook of Dh990 billion, comprising 105 firm orders, including 45 Airbus A380s (by far the largest of any carrier),
Emirates is still evaluating both Boeing's 787 and Airbus's A350. Boeing is now planning to create a larger 787 called the 787-10 in response to Emirates' and other airlines requirement for a larger aircraft than the already launched Boeing 787-8 and Boeing 787-9.

On October 27, 2006, Emirates announced that it cancelled its order for 20 Airbus A340-600 aircraft, citing that they believed the A340 lacked the technology offered by more up-to-date planes. They also cancelled the A380 Airbus A380Fs which were due for delivery in 2009. Instead the airline has opted to order ten of the recently launched 747-8 freighters for its SkyCargo subsidiary at the 2006 Farnborough Air Show, much to the annoyance of Airbus which has accused Boeing of intentionally misleading airlines about the capabilities of its new Airbus A380-800F freighter. [citation needed] The reason Emirates has chosen the Boeing 747-8 "derivative" freighter over the all-new Airbus A380F is the Boeing aircraft's nose-loading capability, something the rival Airbus freighter is lacking. In addition, Emirates also said that it was evaluating the 747-8I, the yet to be launched passenger version of the Boeing 747-8, especially the "stretched" version now studied by Boeing which would incorporate the same 5.6m stretch as the freight variant instead of the mere 3.6m stretch currently envisaged for the passenger model. This would bring the -8I's capacity closer to the A380-800's typical three-class 555-seat capacity (470 seats in a three-class-configuration instead of 450).


Skywards is frequent flyer program of Emirates, SriLankan Airlines and other Emirates travel partners. Miles are earned through flights with Emirates and SriLankan, or with cooperating airlines such as include Continental Airlines, Japan Airlines, Korean Air, South African Airways, and United Airlines. Like many frequent flyer programs, Skywards offers a tier model of Silver and Gold, which gives additional benefits based upon miles flown in a year.


Emirates is a big global sponsor of sports clubs and events, both at its home base and in the main overseas markets it serves. It also sponsors the annual "Dubai Shopping Festival". As the airline lacks a "ready-made" clientele in its almost non-existent home market, this type of corporate sponsorship is its most effective marketing tool. Perhaps unsurprisingly, for Emirates marketing expenses account for a far greater share of its total costs than for most of its competitors.[3]In the English speaking world the sponsership always carries the words "Fly Emirates".

At present the company provides the following sponsorships:

Emirates has sponsored the Austrialian cricket team (defending champions) and hosts West Indies for the Cricket World Cup 2007.
Emirates has sponsored the Rugby World Cup 2007. This is the second rugby related sponsorship after the Dubai Rugby 7s.
Emirates is the title sponsor of the Dubai World Cup thoroughbred horse race and was a major sponsor of the 2003 FIFA Women's World Cup.
Emirates is also the title and main sponsor of the Melbourne Cup (Australia's richest horse race)
Emirates was the Official Airline of the 2006 FIFA World Cup.
Emirates is the main sponsor behind the America's Cup challenge team Emirates Team New Zealand, made from the remnants of Team New Zealand who won the cup in 1996, and defended in 2000 before losing it in 2003.
Emirates is sponsor of Collingwood Football Club
Emirates is the main sponsor of Arsenal F.C. of the English Premier League, and has its name on Arsenal's new stadium, Emirates Stadium, until June 2020, and is the shirt sponsor until 2014.
Emirates also holds the sponsorship rights for cricket umpires and association football referees.
Emirates is now the major sponsor of new Super 14's the Emirates Western Force
Emirates is also involved in the IRB Sevens World Series
Emirates was the sponsor of Chelsea F.C.
Emirates is the sponsor of the football club Hamburger SV in the Bundesliga
Emirates announced before the start of the 2006 Formula 1 Championship that they had signed a sponsorship deal with Team McLaren Mercedes.
Emirates is a sponsor for the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf division.
Emirates is the sponsor of Paris Saint-Germain football club
Emirates became the first company to sponsor two teams in one UEFA Champions League match in 2006, with Hamburger SV facing Arsenal F.C.. Under UEFA regulations, one sponsor cannot appear on both teams' shirts, so for both games, the away side had "Dubai" on their shirts, with the home team wearing Emirates shirts.
Emirates sponsors the Dubai Desert Classic golf tournament.
Emirates is the main sponsor of the Dubai Rugby 7s tournament.

Incidents and accidents

An Airbus A340-313X of Emirates ran off the runway when taking off from Johannesburg International Airport on April 9, 2004. At the call to rotate, the pilot flying pulled back on the stick. However, according to a report, the nose was then de-rotated and the aircraft did not become airborne. The crew felt a rumbling, selected full power, and about two seconds later the aircraft lifted off the ground[1]. The airport says 25 runway threshold and approach lights, and part of the runway surface, were damaged as the aircraft went over the end of 21R.
An Airbus A330-243 en route Dubai-Vienna (Flight EK127) declared an emergency shortly after taking off on May 28, 2006. The aircraft returned for an emergency landing at the Dubai International Airport.



Eddie McGuire