Looking back on the last 12-months, Tim Clark the long-serving president at Emirates is in a positive mood. Clark has said the Dubai-based airline will “enter 2018 with optimism, and an unflagging drive to keep raising the bar in terms of the customer experience and business performance.”
But even Clark has to agree that not everything has gone well for the worlds largest international airline this year, admitting to the “the ups and downs of 2017.” Yet despite the setbacks, Clark maintains Emirates has come out of one of the toughest periods in its existence “stronger and even more resilient.”
Earlier this year, Emirates posted a healthy profit for the first half of 2017 – a significant improvement on how the airline performed the year before. According to Clark, the business is now delivering “steady growth” as a result of “initiatives to boost revenues” and “trim costs.”
To celebrate the end of the year, Emirates has released some fascinating if not entirely important statistics about its business throughout 2017. We’ve learnt the airline carried a huge 59 million passengers in the past 12-months with 63 million passenger meals served by its international cabin crew.
Think that sounds like a low number? That’s because that only includes the meals prepared by Emirate’s in-house catering company at Dubai International Airport. The real figure is likely to be at least double that amount.
Emirates was already by far the largest of the double-decker Airbus A380 aircraft but in 2017 the carrier welcomed its 100th delivery. Marking nine years since it first started flying the A380, Emirates estimates that 90 million passengers have flown on its flagship aircraft since it was launched.
Whether Emirates commits to a new order (for at least 36 new A380’s) remains to be seen, however. Sources close to the matter suggest Airbus could axe the A380 programme altogether if Emirates doesn’t close on a deal soon.
Instead, the carrier stunned the world at the Dubai Air Show and awarded a $15.1 billion USD contract to Boeing for 40 787 Dreamliners. When they come into service, they’ll help transport passengers to Emirates’ network of 156 worldwide destinations – including three new points which were added in 2017: Newark, USA via Athens; Zagreb, Croatia; and Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Oh, and we haven’t even mentioned the new ‘game-changing’ fully enclosed First Class Suite which was unveiled to great fanfare in November. The Suite has received rave reviews although the upgraded Business Class is still considered below par compared to other products flown by many of the airline’s rivals.
Of course, there’s also the “significant” partnership Emirates announced together with its low-cost sister airline, flydubai in July. With one eye firmly on lowering costs and increasing revenue, Emirates says it remains committed to an “unwavering focus on providing a strong customer-centric proposition.”
Unfortunately, there have been some cut-backs across the airline. For now, however, the airline is celebrating the successes of the past year. Here’s hoping for an even better 2018.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.