The paper "Improving Operations at Emirates Airlines" is a worthy example of a case study on management. Emirates Airlines began with a fleet consisting of two leased aircraft – a Boeing 737 and an Airbus A300 – and made its inaugural flight on 25 October 1985. Today the airline can boast of nearly 700 weekly flights to 60 countries with its modern fleet of over130 aircraft, which include the Boeing 777, the enormous Airbus A380, and the Airbus A330 and A340. Emirates has posted an annual profit every year since its third year of operation and has never experienced an annual growth rate of lower than 20%.
The airline is part of the Emirates Group, which has interests in tour and leisure management, cargo and airline ground operations, and airline-related IT systems. (Emirates, 2009) Emirates’ Bold Business Model Despite the current economic downturn, Emirates is sticking to a program of expansion in the high-end travel market that has some critics wondering if the airlines’ two-decade run of success might come to an end. Emirates has nearly 200 aircraft – one-fourth of them the huge, and hugely expensive, Airbus A380’ s – on order, nearly all of them configured for high-priced First and Business Class passengers.
Emirates accounts for 40% of the traffic at Dubai International Airport and hopes to increase that share to 70% by next year (Emirates, 2009), and its 700 weekly flights maintain a fairly consistent 78% load rate. Dubai, however, only has a population of about 1.7 million, so clearly the large numbers of passengers paying high prices to fly Emirates are coming from somewhere else. (Grossman, 2009) More to the point, many of Emirates’ strong competitors, airlines with 4- and 5-star quality rankings, are carrying them [see Table 1]. This report will address the challenge that Emirates faces, that of maintaining and improving process efficiencies to provide a superior service than its competitors, and meet the aggressive growth objectives the company has set for itself.
In the first part, the overall business strategy will be examined, along with the key supporting strategy that facilitates Emirates’ overall objectives. A description of the key process on which Emirates has based its growth goals – the airline’ s worldwide routing scheme through its Dubai base – will then be made to illustrate a potential flaw in what is otherwise a very effective concept.
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