Emirates marks key milestones in 2015, its 30th year of operations

Since January 2015, the airline has carried over 51.3 million passengers, which represented 9% more passengers during the same period in the previous calendar year. 

Emirates, the world’s largest international airline, concluded another year of growth underscored by standout milestones across its fleet, network, and customer experience initiatives. Its growing business footprint also delivered increasing positive impact on the economies and communities it serves.

Since January 2015, the airline has carried over 51.3 million passengers, which represented 9% more passengers during the same period in the previous calendar year. The airline served over 57 million meals on its flights departing Dubai*, and handled over 35 million pieces of baggage in Dubai alone.

Remarking on this year’s accomplishments, Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline said:  “2015 has been one of considerable growth for Emirates as we continued to steer our course despite the headwinds of regional conflict, unfavourable currency impact, and shaky business and consumer confidence in many global markets. 

Through our 30 years of operation to date, Emirates has always stayed focussed on its core strategies: an efficient fleet and operations that capitalise on Dubai’s strategic location and infrastructure; an excellent product and service proposition for our customers; and recruiting and retaining the best talent from around the world. We will continue to build on these strengths, even as we drive ourselves to achieve new goals and set new standards for ourselves and the industry.”

Strategic fleet investment

Emirates added 26 new aircraft to its fleet in 2015, comprising 15 A380s, 10 Boeing 777-300ERs and 1 Boeing 777 Freighter, rounding off the year with 246 aircraft in service.

The airline marked its 150th Emirates 777 delivery milestone, as part of a triple delivery of two Boeing 777-300ERs and one Boeing 777 Freighter in one day in September. An Airbus A380 was also part of that bumper delivery, strengthening Emirates’ position as the world’s largest operator of both the A380 and Boeing 777. 

At the Dubai Airshow in November, Emirates introduced the world’s first two class configured A380 with the capacity to carry 615 passengers. 

Connecting the world to, and through Dubai

 The airline expanded its network to 150 destinations in 2015, with the addition of six new passenger destinations: Bali, Multan, Orlando, Mashhad, Bologna and Sabiha Gokcen in Istanbul; and three cargo-only destinations in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), Columbus (USA) and Ciudad del Este, (Paraguay). In addition, Emirates uplifted frequencies and upgraded capacity to numerous points across its network.

In August, Emirates announced plans to launch services to Panama City, beginning 1st February 2016.

In 2015, Emirates expanded the number of cities served by its flagship A380 aircraft to 36. During the year, Emirates also led one-off A380 services to seven destinations: Prague, Taipei, Brussels, Sao Paulo, Cologne, Manama and Doha. 

Enhancing customer experience

Emirates continues to invest over US$20 million annually to install and operate inflight connectivity systems which enable onboard Wi-Fi services. This year alone, over four million Emirates passengers connected to Wi-Fi on board, reflecting the strong consumer demand for connectivity services while travelling.

In October, Emirates launched new amenity kits for its First and Business Class customers in collaboration with luxury Italian brand Bvlgari.  For travelling families, Emirates released its newest range of toys and activity packs in November to keep young travellers entertained - Fly With Me Animals, and Fly With Me Lonely Planet Kids activity bags.

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On the ground, Emirates expanded its lounge network with the opening of new facilities in Tokyo Narita and Los Angeles International airports, taking the total number of dedicated Emirates Lounges globally to 38.

Making it easier for customers to access their flight information and manage their travel, Emirates launched its mobile App for customers using the Android platform, and an App for Apple Watch designed to complement the popular Emirates iPhone app.  Emirates also launched its mobile site in several languages including: Arabic, Spanish, French, German, Japanese, Russian, Chinese, Turkish, Greek, Italian, Korean and Polish.

Economic contribution

In November, Emirates signed a US$16 billion OnPoint solution agreement with GE Aviation for the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) of the GE9X engines that will power the airline’s fleet of 150 Boeing 777X aircraft. Spanning 12 years, the deal is Emirates’ largest engine MRO contract to date, and also GE Aviation’s largest ever commercial jet engine award from an airline.

In March, a report by Frontier Economics was released, estimating that Emirates contributed €6.8 billion to the economies of European Union countries in 2013 and 2014, supporting more than 85,000 jobs. Frontier also analysed European international air connectivity and concluded that Emirates provides 220 unique air connections that are not offered by any other airline or alliance.

Supporting communities and passions

Emirates remains the world’s most valuable airline brand, and in 2015 the airline’s brand value grew more than 21% to US$6.6 billion, according to The Brand Finance Global 500 report. Through 2015, Emirates continued its support for a wide range of events, sports and other initiatives which brought the airline closer to its customers.

Emirates amplified its football presence when it announced that it will become the Lead Partner of The FA Cup, now called The Emirates FA Cup, until 2018. In Portugal, Emirates extended its sponsorship of Benfica when it became shirt sponsor. In tennis, Emirates elevated its partnership with the ATP to become the Premier Partner of the ATP World Tour from 2016.

In October, Emirates unveiled its highly-anticipated TV commercial featuring Hollywood actress, director and producer Jennifer Aniston, to great acclaim.

Building on its existing programmes for environmental conservation, Emirates this year teamed up with United for Wildlife, a global collaboration that unites the efforts of the world’s leading wildlife charities, in the fight against the illegal wildlife trade.

In Dubai, Emirates signed up to sponsor ‘The Last Wilderness of the UAE’, a documentary series that will feature the United Arab Emirates’ remarkably rich biodiversity, which is scheduled to launch in late 2016.

Emirates operates a daily scheduled flight between Dubai and Malta via Larnaca, Cyprus on an A330-200 aircraft. For further information and flight schedules, one can visit the site: www.emirates.com/mt

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