More aircraft, more flights, new lounges and new recruits – these are just some of the developments the international airline of the UAE will share with the world’s largest travel trade show this week in Berlin .
Going into ITB 2010, compared to ITB in March 2009, Emirates’ fleet of modern aircraft has grown from 131 to 145, while the number of A380s received has doubled from four to eight.
Two new destinations are up and running; Durban and Luanda, while Tokyo, Amsterdam , Prague, Madrid and Dakar will start up throughout 2010.
From 981 departures per week in March 2009, the airline is now dispatching 1107 passenger flights per week out of Dubai , supporting the new routes and additional frequencies on existing routes such as Johannesburg, Athens, Rome, Amman, Male, Trivandrum, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur and Sydney. Overall seat capacity has risen by around 16 percent.
Tim Clark, President, Emirates Airline, said: “We are looking forward to supporting ITB again this year and are pleased to be able to report so many new developments. These continue to be testing times, making our fresh initiatives and ongoing growth even more noteworthy.”
More aircraft and flights mean more staff. Around 660 cabin crew and more than 60 pilots have been recruited by the Dubai-based carrier since March 2009. It is expected that a further 2000 cabin crew will be hired this year.
In the past 12 months, premium passengers have been granted more retreats to relax, shower and dine ahead of their flights. Six Emirates’ lounges have opened in Beijing, Mumbai, Johannesburg, Dusseldorf, Hamburg and Manchester. Lounge investment to date is cruising above AED 266 million (US$ 72 million).
Shortly before ITB 2009, Emirates reported that its in-flight mobile phone service had clocked up its 100,000th user. That figure has now skyrocketed to more than 1.7 million. A total of 69 aircraft are now AeroMobile-enabled, allowing passengers to use their own mobile phones, up from 31 aircraft a year ago.
In all, 200 flights a day throughout 55 countries are now mobile-equipped, rising from 50 flights a day and 42 countries a year ago. Each month, over 140,000 sms texts are sent to/from aircraft by passengers.
The company’s resort portfolio has expanded. In October, Emirates unveiled the much-awaited conservation-based project, the Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa, near Sydney. It has since become the first hotel in the world to achieve carbon neutral certification under an internationally recognised scheme.
In November, half year profits were announced of AED 752 million (USD 205 million), climbing 165% over the previous year – and on the back of an 18% increase in passengers carried.
Just recently, Emirates again demonstrated its passion for sports by announcing a massive AED 300 million (USD 82 million) shirt sponsorship deal with Italian football giants, AC Milan. David Beckham joined the celebrations in Milan.
Mr Clark added: “People often ask how we do it – how we keep making these huge commitments to our customers, to sports and to the travel and tourism industry in general? Well, the answer is: we stay focused, we invest in our brand, we closely watch our costs and with the extremely hard work of more than 40,000 staff, we remain committed to our carefully planned long-term expansion.”
Emirates Holidays, Emirates Hotels & Resorts, Arabian Adventures, Congress Solutions International, Skywards and Network Passenger Sales Development will all be present at Emirates’ Globe stand within ITB’s Hall 22a. The show runs from the 10th-14th March.