KAHINI CHAKRABORTY – Mumbai
Witnessing a growth in travel from India despite the current economic slowdown, Emirates is going to be launching flights to four new destinations from next month. Benefiting the India market, the new routes that the airline will be introducing include daily flights to Barcelona (July 3); Lisbon (July 9) and Washington (September 12) and four flights a week to Erbil, Iraq (August 12). The airline globally connects India to 114 destination in 73 countries via Dubai.
When asked about how the airline is looking at consolidating its position in the market, Orhan Abbas, VP- India and Nepal, Emirates said, “We concentrate on our own operations, connecting cities, continents and people with the best service available. Whilst product and service remain our priority, we have however, had to increase our focus on manipulating our network and our fleet to adjust to changing world markets. In recent years we have witnessed a significant move from West to East, something that we are able to adapt to quickly, given our centrally located hub in Dubai. Emirates operates on an average load factor of 80 per cent across all 10 Indian destinations. Currently we are witnessing a growth of around 18 per cent in the Indian market. The Indian subcontinent generates 11.5 per cent of the airline’s total revenue, with India having the lion’s share.
Commenting on whether the airline would look at considering taking stake in any of the Indian carriers, Abbas informed, “India is one of the world’s most important aviation markets. While Emirates’ philosophy is to focus on organic growth, we always welcome any reform which liberalises markets, including FDI rules.”
Currently, the airline operates 185 weekly flights to 10 Indian destinations from Dubai – Mumbai, New Delhi, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kochi, Trivandrum, Ahmedabad, Kolkata and Kozhikode.
This year the airline has launched flights to Rio (January 3); Buenos Aires (January 3); Dublin (January 9); Lusaka (February 1); Harare (February 1); Dallas (February 2); Seattle (March 1); Ho Chi Minh City (June 4).