Ahmed Khoory, Emirates' Senior Vice President Commercial Operations, West Asia and Indian Ocean (WAIO)
Dhaka: The Dubai based airline giant Emirates is the most customer-centric airline. To make the flight an integral part of the travel experience; the carrier is dedicated to provide the customer the best value for money in each class: First Class, Business Class and Economy.
Ahmed Khoory, SVP – Commercial Operations, Emirates West Asia and Indian Ocean said this in an exclusive interview with The Bangladesh Monitor.
This is why they offer a high standard of service which includes key attention to food and fleet quality. They are operating only two types of wide-body aircraft, Airbus 380 and Boeing 777, both iconic and well-received airplanes by the customer.
Also, modern wide-body aircraft are more comfortable for the passengers. On top of it, Emirates offers more in-flight entertainment and channels than any other airline.
“These combined with our extremely motivated employees, cabin crew, customer-facing staff and wide network; we have an absolute winning combination for customers. Therefore, customer-centricity and great execution quality are fundamentals of Emirates’ DNA,” Khoory further mentioned.
Emirates started operations to Bangladesh back in 1986 with only two weekly flights. Dhaka was the eighth destination in their international network. Since then they have been growing in Bangladesh keeping pace with the overall development of the country. Now the airline flies thrice a day from Dhaka with over 90 per cent load factor on an average.
“Emirates is one of the preferred carriers among Bangladeshis for its world class products, services and convenient connections via Dubai to its global destinations,” said Khoory.
Air travel to and from Bangladesh has been growing at a very encouraging rate. Since it is one of the fastest developing countries in the world, Bangladesh is attracting attention of many foreign investors, traders, multinational companies and international organisations. All these tell about further growth of demand in the air travel sector. And Emirates is ready to take the challenge with an increase of frequencies.
“We consider Bangladesh one of the most important destinations in our global network. We definitely want to grow here further. Increase of frequency depends on many factors and if those factors are met, we’ll definitely grow in the market.”
However, by definition, there must be challenges. As an airline with global operations, Emirates understands that every country has its own specificity which the airline must adapt to. Bangladesh is not an exception. Nonetheless, the airline is committed to comply with local rules and regulations. Emirates has always enjoyed support and co-operation from the local regulatory authorities, travel trade partners, media and of course the local travelers.
“I feel since the travel industry is growing very fast, Bangladesh needs to take urgent measures to further develop its airport facilities and relevant infrastructure to face the upcoming challenges.”
As an ever growing partnership between Emirates and flydubai is observed, the possibility of a merger may be expected. Emirates started its partnership with flydubai in 2017. Since then their combined network has been expanding and is expected to reach 240 destinations by 2022.
However, both airlines are managed independently and have no plan of a merger, said Ahmed Khoory. Nevertheless, there will be more areas in the future where these two are going to be seen cooperating.
Emirates grew steadily in the first half of 2018-19. Demand for their high quality products and services remained healthy, as they won new and return customers across their businesses. However, the high fuel cost as well as currency devaluations in markets like India, Brazil, Angola and Iran affected their profits.
But, they are expecting a better financial result in the second half of the year thanks to their efficient and sincere management and operations team as well as their staff. The airline is keeping a tight rein on controllable costs and will continue to drive efficiency improvement through the implementation of new technology and business processes.
“Emirates is already deploying its capacity more dynamically to leverage seasonal opportunities, looking at innovative ways to serve its different customer segments better and in a more personalised fashion,” added Khoory.
The airline giant is the largest operator of Boeing B777 and Airbus A380. A380 is their flagship carrier and presently they have 109 of it in their fleet. They will receive 14 more A380s from 2019 until the end of 2021, taking its total A380 order book to 123 units.
However, Emirates cancelled order of 36 such aircraft and opted for A330neo and A350. The 40 A330neos and 30 A350s that they ordered will complement Emirates’ fleet mix, support their network growth and give them more flexibility to better serve seasonal or opportunistic demand.
Emirates is also the official airline partner World Expo 2020. So, it will definitely play a key role in bringing visitors to the event via its route network to over 150 destinations in 86 countries and roughly 70 per cent of visitors targeted to visit Expo 2020 will be utilising air links. Of the 190 countries that have confirmed their participation in Expo, Emirates currently provides nonstop air links to 67 of them and that number grows to 80 with the support of their partner flydubai.
“We have just unveiled our pavilion. Our focus will be around the future of commercial aviation and we are planning ultra-futuristic experiences for our visitors (in areas of cabin design, engine efficiency, futuristic materials and composites, new biometric technologies etc),” said Ahmed Khoory.
Emirates will be supporting Expo 2020 by helping to attract visitors from key global markets through marketing and other outreach efforts across its network. And to help build awareness around Expo 2020, the carrier has branded 40 aircraft in its fleet, through to the end of Expo 2020 Dubai.