There’s no question that Emirates is the Queen of the Skies. No matter which way you look at it, you’ll surely understand that Emirates now has such a stranglehold on the opposition that it has virtually created its own playing field.
One of the main success stories of Emirates is actually its location in Dubai. Being roughly 7 hours flying time from both western Europe and most of Asia, it is strategically located to take passengers away from airlines such as British Airways, Air France, Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways from traditional non-stop routes. Emirates can do this by stopping over in Dubai and making you change planes for your onwards flight. Not everybody will want to have a stop in Dubai, and clearly some prestige airlines will always have their loyal customers. Yet in this day and age – when price is a major factor for customers when booking tickets – they will no doubt find that invariably Emirates have cheaper fares (albeit usually only by a slight margin). Other Middle-Eastern carriers, such as Emirates’ chief rival Etihad, also bank on this tactic.
How does Emirates compare to their rivals in the Middle-East? I’ve made a comprehensive analysis of the Big ‘ME4’.
Many airlines, in particular British Airways, have complained about the lack of a level playing field, citing the price of oil (to power all those aircraft engines) as a way Emirates keep ahead of the competition. It is a well-known fact that Emirates either get very cheap fuel, or have it completely subsidised by the UAE government – which, I guess, is one of the perks of having oil under the runway. European and Asian carriers clearly will never have this economic luxury.
However, despite the criticisms, Emirates have done wonders for the aviation industry. Their training facilities for cabin crew and pilots are now industry-leading, and much of their onboard product, such as the resplendent First Class Suites on the Airbus A380, the tail and nose cameras which can be watched live by passengers, and the famous ICE (Information, Communication, Entertainment) System have long since been the envy of Emirates’ rivals. WIFI, international calls from your mobile, and even onboard shopping from your touchscreen entertainment system have also been pioneered by Emirates.
I have been lucky enough to fly with Emirates in their A380 First Class Suites, and the experience was amazing from start to finish! But it’s not only the first class where Emirates has made a name for itself: the business class cabin and economy class cabins are also among the industry’s leading products of their kind.
One of the things Emirates is best-known for is its all-widebody fleet of aircraft. Emirates are the leading operator of the Airbus A380. Emirates seem to be the only airline that can currently utilise this largest plane in the sky on a profitable basis. Whereas rivals such as Thai Airways and Malaysia Airlines struggle to efficiently deploy their A380s, Emirates keep adding more and more A380 frequencies on their most popular routes to cater for the increasing demand. Where next for the Emirates A380?
Emirates has been voted Airline of the Year by SKYTRAX in quite a few of the recent years, and who knows what the future will hold as the airline continues to grow from strength to strength! But don’t take my opinion for it, check out this comprehensive piece from Through Brand New Eyes which outlines 7 reasons why you should fly with Emirates!