Emirates rounds off a year of growth with fleet and product milestones

-A Monitor Desk Report 31 Dec, 2016 | 3752 Views|-+
Dhaka: Emirates Airline, rounded off another year of growth in 2016, underlined by fleet and network expansion, as well as customer focused product investments.

Commenting on 2016, Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline said: “Consumer appetite for travel has remained resilient, despite socio-economic and political headwinds around the globe, and that is reflected in our operational growth. Emirates will continue on our strategy of organic growth, leveraging on the geo-centricity of the UAE, and Dubai’s dynamic developments in tourism and commerce. We will also continue to invest in our product and services so as to offer our customers an outstanding experience and value proposition while they discover the world.”

Emirates scaled up its fleet in 2016 with the addition of 36 new aircraft, consisting of 20 A380s, 16 Boeing 777-300ERs, while retiring 29 older aircraft. The airline concluded the year with 255 aircraft in service, with an average age of 5.0 years, significantly below the industry average of over 11 years.In November Emirates became the only airline to operate an all Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 fleet.Emirates also began taking delivery of its newest generation Airbus A380 and Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.

Emirates unlocked seven new passenger points and one cargo destination in 2016, rounding off the year with 154 destinations in its global network. Emirates also expanded its A380 network to 44 destinations with the addition of 8 new points.

The airline invested in a series of product developments and service enhancements, both in the air and on the ground.This year, Emirates unveiled its enhanced Business Class seat on its Boeing 777 aircraft strengthened its in-flight entertainment (IFE) offering. Passengers on all Emirates flights access on-demand entertainment with up to 2,600 channels of movies, music, TV shows, games and more, to choose from. In October, Emirates signed an agreement with Thales to equip its Boeing 777X fleet with the Thales AVANT in-flight entertainment system, debuting in mid-2020.

For its premium passengers, Emirates rolled out a range of enhancements onboard with luxury in mind. New additions in First Class included the world’s first moisturising lounge wear designed for an airline, keeping skin hydrated during the flight. New blankets were introduced including plush faux sheep-skin blankets for First Class and soft duvets for Business Class passengers.

Emirates also partnered with VOYA luxury spa products for its passengers to enjoy in its signature shower spa, dedicated lounge bathrooms and First and Business Class washrooms. In addition, Emirates and luxury Italian brand Bvlgari redesigned the airline’s exclusive amenity kit bags by giving them a sleek, modern look.

In Economy Class, Emirates launched the world’s first interactive amenity kit to provide a more comfortable travel experience.

Emirates this year completed a US$ 11 million refurbishment of its Business Class lounge at Concourse B in Dubai. The airline also extended its dedicated lounge network with the opening of its lounge in Cape Town.

Airline’s frequent flyer programme-Emirates Skywards marked a milestone of 16 million members by launching Cash+Miles. The innovative flight redemption programme allowed members to redeem a combination of cash and Skywards Miles on any Emirates flight, reducing the cost of tickets and making any seat available for members. The airline also revamped its corporate loyalty programme, Emirates Business Rewards, delivering a more competitive and easier redemption process for flights as well as upgrades at any time for businesses.

Meanwhile Emirates topped The Brand Finance Global 500 report as the world’s most valuable airline brand in 2016, with the airline’s brand value growing more than 17% to US$ 7.7 billion. Emirates was named World’s Best Airline 2016 at the Skytrax World Airline Awards.

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