Emirates Airline headquarters
Emirates (Arabic: ????? ???????? ?ayaran al-Imarat) is a major airline in the Middle East, and a subsidiary of The Emirates Group. It is the national airline of Dubai, United Arab Emirates and operates around 2200 passenger flights per week, from its hub at Dubai International Airport Terminal 3, to 106 destinations in 60 countries across 6 continents. The company also operates four of some of the world's longest non-stop commercial flights from Dubai to Los Angeles, San Francisco, São Paulo and, Houston all on the Boeing 777-200LR. Emirates is a subsidiary of The Emirates Group, which has over 50,000 employees, and is wholly-owned by the Government of Dubai directly under the Investment Corporation of Dubai. Cargo activities are undertaken by the Emirates Group's Emirates SkyCargo division.
During the mid-1980s, Gulf Air began to cut back its services to Dubai. As a result Emirates was conceived in March 1985 with backing from Dubai's royal family, whose Dubai Royal Air Wing provided two of the airline's first aircraft. It was required to operate independent of government subsidies, apart from $10 million in start-up capital. The airline became headed by Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the airline's present chairman. In the years following its founding, the airline expanded both its fleet and its destinations. In October 2008, Emirates moved all operations at Dubai International Airport to Terminal 3, a new terminal exclusively dedicated to Emirates.
Emirates operates a mixed fleet of Airbus and Boeing wide-body aircraft and is one of only nine airlines to operate an all wide-body aircraft fleet. The centrepiece of the airline's fleet is the Boeing 777. Emirates also has orders for 58 Airbus A380s and became the second operator of the Airbus A380-800 after Singapore Airlines when their first aircraft was delivered on 28 July 2008. Emirates has won numerous awards and is an industry bellwether for aircraft purchases, purchasing over 130 aircraft in 2007 alone.
The airline ranks amongst the top 10 carriers worldwide in terms of revenue, passenger kilometres, and has become the largest airline in the Middle East in terms of revenue, fleet size, and passengers carried as of 2007. In 2009 the airline was the seventh-largest airline in the world in terms of international passengers carried, and fourth-largest in the world in terms of scheduled international passenger-kilometres flown.
Emirates has built up a strong brand name as a trendsetter in the aviation industry, particularly in terms of service excellence, coupled with consistent profitability. In 2009, Emirates was voted the fifth best airline in the world by research consultancy firm Skytrax.
During the mid-1980s, Gulf Air began to cut back its services to Dubai. As a result Emirates was conceived in March 1985 with backing from Dubai's royal family, whose Dubai Royal Air Wing provided two of the airline's first aircraft, used Boeing 727-200/Advs. It was required to operate independent of government subsidies, apart from $10 million in start-up capital. It also leased a new Boeing 737-300 from Pakistan International Airlines which was returned in 1987.
The first flight of the airline was, Dubai-Karachi on 25 October 1985. The airline leased an Airbus 300B4-200, from Pakistan International Airlines. Bombay and Delhi were the next destinations for the airline.
Emirates became profitable within its first nine months. During its first year, it carried about 260,000 passengers and 10,000 tons of freight. By 1986, the airline was adding new destinations such as Colombo, Dhaka, Amman, and Cairo to its route network. Emirates launched daily nonstop service to London Gatwick on 6 July 1987 with two new Airbus A310s. It also started flights to Singapore. The airline in 1987 added Frankfurt via Istanbul, and Male (Maldive Islands). Emirates lacked a regional network, as its main competitor Gulf Air also dominated traffic in the region.
This growth came as the region was experiencing a downturn, with the Gulf War and the laying off expatriate workers as factors. In its second year, competitors had accused Emirates of starting a price war, something the airline's competitors still accuse Emirates of doing. By the end of 1987, Emirates was serving 11 destinations.
Incorporation and growth
Emirates had become one of the world's fastest growing airlines by the early 1990s. Revenues increased by about $100 million each year, approaching $500 million in the year 1993. It carried 68,000 tons of cargo and 1.6 million passengers in the same year. The Gulf War had helped Emirates by keeping other airlines out of the area. Emirates was the only airline to continue flying in the last ten days of the war.
Emirates operated nine Airbus A310s by 1998
A partnership agreement with US Airways entered in the fall of 1993 allowed Emirates to offer services round the world. It previously had cooperation agreements with Cyprus Airways. By 1994, the airline was connecting 32 destinations with its 15 aircraft. At this time Emirates was the sixth largest airline in the Middle East.
Emirates took in revenues of $643.4 million in the year ending 30 March 1994. The airline had 4,000 employees and carried two million passengers a year between 34 destinations with a fleet of 18 Airbus aircraft. Seven new Boeing 777s worth over $1 billion were ordered in 1992 which began to arrive in the spring of 1996. One of the planes was used on a new service to Melbourne via Singapore. Emirates placed a large order with Airbus later the same year. In spite of the large capital expenditures, the Dubai government had laid out only $50 million since the airline's inception.
A total of 92 air carriers were flying to markets internationally and Emirates faced intense competition at its home base. It carried about three million passengers a year to Dubai International Airport in the mid-1990s. Emirates continued to expand during the late 1990s. The growing cargo business accounted for 16 percent of the airline's total revenues.
Airbus A330-300 lands at London Heathrow Airport
In May 1998, Emirates paid the Government of Sri Lanka $70 million for a 40 percent stake in SriLankan Airlines (formerly known as Air Lanka). As part of the deal, Emirates received a 10 year contract to manage SriLankan. In January 2008, Emirates announced that it would give back management of SriLankan Airlines to the Sri Lankan Government, effective April 2008. However there are no plans to remove or decrease the stake in the airline.
Towards the end of the year 2000, Emirates was planning to start ultra-long-haul service to the East Coast and West Coast of the United States as well as nonstop flights to Australia and Argentina. Traffic continued to grow at a rate of 20 percent in 1999-2000.
The Boeing 777 has become an integral part of the fleet in recent years
In 2005, Emirates began flying non-stop to New York City's John F. Kennedy International Airport using their new Airbus A340-500. These flights marked new non-stop air services between the United Arab Emirates and the USA, after Delta Air Lines's flights since 2001, terminated later and restarted again in 2007.
South Asia is an important region for the Emirates network. Pakistan was the first country to receive flights from the airline and it still does to this day. India was the second country to receive flights from Emirates, and continues to expand an extensive network in India. Emirates is the largest airline operating internationally, in India, and operates over 185 flights a week across 10 cities.
Emirates has been steadily capturing the traffic from South Asia to North America, allowing passengers to bypass the traditional hubs of London Heathrow, Frankfurt, and Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport; the home bases of British Airways, Lufthansa, and Air France, with a transit stop at Dubai International Airport instead. Similarly, Emirates competes with British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Qantas, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways International, Middle Eastern rival Etihad Airways, and other airlines on the lucrative London to Sydney Kangaroo Route.
Airbus A380-800 landing at London Heathrow Airport in October 2009
Airbus A380-800 landing in Hamburg Finkenwerder Airport to receive final paint-job
Emirates announced an order in April 2000 as the first launch customer for the Airbus A3XX (later named Airbus A380), the largest civil aircraft ever built. The deal comprised five Airbus A380-800s and two Airbus A380-800F. The deal was confirmed on 4 November 2001 and Emirates announced orders for 15 more A380-800s at the same time. Two years later Emirates once again ordered 21 A380-800s. In April 2006, Emirates ordered two more A380-800s, however they cancelled their two orders for the freighter variant. In 2007, Emirates ordered 15 A380-800s, bringing their order to 58. Emirates justified its order saying that purchasing the 481- to 656-passenger super jumbo was to maximize its use of scarce takeoff and landing slots at crowded airports like London Heathrow.
In November 2005, the first A380-800 in full Emirates livery was flown to Dubai, where it was displayed at Dubai Airshow 2005. On 20 November 2005, Emirates ordered 42 Boeing 777s, to help with its expansion. This order came one day after Airbus announced that the A380-800 superjumbo would be delayed by another six months. A third delay was announced on 3 October 2006, pushing the initial delivery of the first A380-800 to October 2007. The announcement was met with anger by Emirates' President, Tim Clark, who threatened to cancel their Airbus order as it was affecting the airline's expansion plan, saying:
“ It's very serious. This will do us serious damage. Compensation is not our target, what we really seek is to give a chance for Airbus to deliver what they promised so that we can assess, because we need that aircraft.
In total as of April 2008, Airbus paid as much as $110 million during 2007 in compensation for the late delivery of the A380-800 to Emirates for the delays.
On 1 August 2008 Emirates flew its first A380-800 flight, with 489 passengers, from Dubai to New York City's John F. Kennedy International Airport.  The airline now uses their Airbus A380-800 on flights to:
• Auckland (via Sydney),
• London Heathrow with double daily services commencing from July 1st 2010,
• Beijing, commencing August 1st 2010
• Manchester, commencing September 1st 2010.
During 2010 as more aircraft are delivered, the A380 will resume flights to New York-JFK. The airline has also expressed interest in starting A380 flights to Melbourne. 
Emirates A380-800 taxiing at Dubai International Airport
In February 2009, Emirates raised many issues concerning its A380 superjumbos. Emirates gave a 46-page presentation in Toulouse, informing Airbus officials about heat-damaged power cables, defective engines and numerous malfunctions reportedly to be mainly caused by the two showers built in the aircraft.
Main article: Dubai International Airport#Terminal 3
Dubai International Airport's Terminal 3 was built exclusively for the use of Emirates at a cost of $4.5 billion and officially opened 14 October 2008. Terminal 3 is the largest building in the world by floor space, with over 1,500,000 m2 (370 acres) of space. The Terminal has annual capacity of 27 million passengers, and with the expansion of Concourse 3, will have an annual capacity of 43 million passengers by 2011, once concourse 3 is complete. The new concourse 3 will be exclusively for the A380- 800. 
The airline is a subsidiary of The Emirates Group, which is a subsidiary of the Dubai government investment company, Investment Corporation of Dubai. The airline has recorded a profit every year, except the second, and growth has never fallen below 20% a year. In its first 11 years, it doubled in size every 3.5 years, and has every four years since.
In 2008 Emirates paid dividends worth US$776 million to the Government of Dubai. The government has received Dhs3.1 billion from Emirates since dividends started being paid in 1999 for having provided an initial start-up capital of US$10 million and an additional investment of about US$80 million at the time of the airline's inception, the Dubai government is the sole owner of the company. However, it does not put any new money into it, nor does it interfere with running the airline.
Structure and employment
Emirates has diversified into related industries and sectors, including airport services, engineering, hospitality services, catering, and tour operator operations. Emirates has 4 subsidiaries and its parent company has more than 50.
Emirates employed a total of 28,037 staff at the end of the fiscal year on 31 March 2009. Its parent company, The Emirates Group, employed a total of 48,246 employees of which 10,324 were cabin crew, 2,141 were flight deck crew, 1,849 were in engineering, and 9,379 were listed as other.
Main article: Emirates subsidiaries
Emirates has diversified in to related industries and sectors, including aircraft ground handling, aviation engineering, air catering, and tour operator operations. Emirates has over 6 subsidiaries, whilst its parent company has over 50.
Financial and operational performance
In the financial year 2008-09 reached passenger numbers reached 22.7 million, representing an increase of 7.1% over the previous year. Cargo carried in 2008-09 improved by 9.8% to 1,408,300 tonnes (2007-08: 1,282,134 tonnes).  The airline's profits however were down 72% for the 2008/09 fiscal year. Its profit of 1.49bn dirhams ($406m; £255m) for the year to March 31 compared with a 5.3bn dirhams profit for the previous year.
The airline was the seventh-largest airline in the world in terms of international passengers carried, and fourth-largest in the world in terms of scheduled international passenger-kilometres flown. It is also the seventh-largest in terms of scheduled freight tonne-kilometres flown (sixth in scheduled international freight tonne-kilometres flown).
In the first six months of 2009, Emirates posted a 165 per cent jump in net profits to Dh752 million ($205 million), for the first six months of the current financial year ending September 30, up from Dh284 million ($77 million) in the same period of 2008. Revenues of the airline, which entered its 25th year in October, declined 13.5 per cent to Dh19.8 billion ($5.4 billion) compared with Dh22.9 billion ($6.2 billion) recorded last year, due to lower passenger and cargo yields. The increased profits came mostly from 18 per cent capacity growth by adding eight new aircraft to the fleet that has grown to 139. The airline carried 13 million passengers and over 700,000 tonnes of cargo.
The calligraphy of the logo in Arabic on the engines
From 2004, the airline changed its slogan to Fly Emirates. Keep Discovering In 2008, Emirates launched a slogan mainly revolving around their route network of 100 destinations in 55++ countries across six continents - Fly Emirates. Keep Discovering and Fly Emirates. To over Six Continents. Most recently Emirates launched a campaign to promote Dubai as a destination using the slogan Fly Emirates. Meet Dubai.
• The Finest in the Sky
• Be Good to yourself. Fly Emirates
• When was the last time you did something for the first time.
• Fly Emirates. Keep Discovering
Emirates introduced a new design in August 2008 for its 16,000 uniformed staff, designed by Simon Jersey plc. The offboard uniform includes the Emirates hat, red kick-pleats in the skirts, more fitted blouses and the return of red leather shoes and handbags. For the onboard uniform, male and female cabin crew wear service waistcoats in place of the previously worn service jackets and tabards. The male flight attendants wear a chocolate brown suit, featuring pinstripes, with a cream shirt and a caramel, honey and red tie. Both male and female Pursers wear this chocolate brown color, but with no red featured.
Since its formation in 1985, though to a limited extent until all aircraft were repainted, Emirates aeroplanes carried a section of the United Arab Emirates flag on the tail fins, a calligraphy of the logo in Arabic on the engines and the "Emirates" logo on the fuselage both in Arabic and English. The colour scheme used since 1985 was changed in November 1999 to the one still in use today. This change saw the modification of logotype, the enlargement and move of the English logo (the Arabic remaining smaller) towards the front of the aircraft and a different, flowing flag on the tailfin. Some newer aircraft such as the Airbus A380-800, have the Emirates logo painted on the belly of the aircraft. Emirates aircraft also have the Fifa World Cup logo on them, as Emirates is the official airline sponsor. 
Boeing 777-300 at Singapore Changi Airport
Main article: Emirates destinations
Emirates operates 1,883 flights every week across its network of 103 destinations in 65 countries on six continents from its hub in Dubai. Several new destinations are added each year.
As of February 2010, Emirates has codeshare agreements with the following airlines:
• Air Malta
• Air Mauritius
• Continental Airlines
• Japan Airlines
• Jet Airways
• Korean Air
• Oman Air
• Philippine Airlines
• Royal Air Maroc
• South African Airways
• Thai Airways
• V Australia
Main article: Emirates Fleet
Emirates Airbus A330-200 (A6-EKS) landing at London Heathrow Airport
Boeing 777-300ER (A6-EBA) the first of the -300ER variant to be delivered on 25 March 2005 completing its first flight to Düsseldorf International Airport
Emirates Boeing 777-300 (A6-EMP) taxiing on NC3 taxiway at Singapore Changi Airport
Emirates operates an exclusively wide-bodied aircraft fleet making up from 3 aircraft families: the Airbus A330 / A340, Airbus A380 and the Boeing 777. In keeping with its policy of maintaining a young fleet, which stands at an average of 5.7 years in April 2008, it renews its fleet frequently. It operates the youngest fleet of any major airline as of May 2009. On 30 July 2009, Emirates received its 45th Boeing 777-300ER making it the world's largest operator of Boeing 777s with 83 in the fleet as of January 11th 2010.
In July 2008, Emirates received its first Airbus A380-800 and in August 2008, it became the second airline to fly the Airbus A380-800, after Singapore Airlines. Emirates Aircraft utilisation remains one of the highest in the industry at 13.7 hours per day.
Speaking at the recent IATA 2009 annual general meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Tim Clark, Emirates's President, said that they would be operating around 163 aircraft in three years, and that they have to consider the 58 aircraft that are to be retired within the coming years, including the A330-200, A340-300 and 777-200/-300 Classics.
The Emirates passenger aircraft fleet consists of the following widebody aircraft as of December 2009:
Emirates SkyCargo Airbus A310-300F A6-EFC at Zürich Airport
Main article: Emirates SkyCargo
Emirates Cargo is the air freight division of Emirates. It began operations in October 1985, the same year Emirates was formed. Since then it has been the main cargo division of Emirates, and the anchor cargo airline at Dubai International Airport.
The airline claims to have lower emissions than other airlines due to its fleet which has an average fuel burn of less than four litres for every 100 passenger kilometres they fly. The Cargo division of the airline also uses an efficient hub-based operation, using fewer flights needed to transport the same number of people.
• Emirates has stated that their versions of A380-800 will offer fuel economy of 3.1 litres per 100 passenger km. Emirates A380-800s also feature the Engine Alliance GP7200 engines, which save 500,000 litres of fuel per aircraft per year.
• The company uses a program called "Flextracks". The technology is used to plan and optimize routes efficiency and load factor.
• Emirates has invested in a program called "tailored arrivals". This allows air traffic control to uplink to aircraft on route. It first determines the speed and flight profile from the air onto the runway, this allows the crew to accept and fly a continuous descent profile, saving fuel and emissions.
• Emissions are lowered by using aircraft like the Boeing 777-300ER, which uses one engine to taxi the aircraft to its airbridge.
First Class suite on a Boeing 777-200LR
First class passengers have a full suite, complete with closing doors to ensure privacy, a mini-bar, a coat rack and storage. They also feature the ICE system on a 23 in (58 cm) LCD screen. The seat converts into a 2 m (6 ft 7 in) fully flat bed. Private suites are being introduced on the latest B777-300ERs, the B777-300s and B777-200LRs. They are already installed on all ten of Emirates Airbus A340-500 aircraft, and on all of the Airbus A380-800 aircraft.
The older Boeing 777-300ERs, Boeing 777-200s and selected Boeing 777-300s feature flat beds with integrated passenger seat control, along with the ICE system and a 19 in (48 cm) screen. First class seats may also include a personal minibar. On its newly delivered A380-800, first class features private suites, two shower-equipped lavatories and spa, and access to the first/business class bar area and lounge. Premium class seating is located on the entire upper deck of A380-800 aircraft.
In 2009, Emirates was voted the second best First Class by Skytrax. Skytrax had said that the Emirates A380-800 product greatly helped influence its position.
Business Class cabin on the Airbus A380-800
Business class on Boeing 777-200LRs, 777-300s and Boeing 777-300/ERs feature seats with a 60 in (150 cm) pitch that recline to 79 in (200 cm)-long, angled lie-flat beds. Amenities include massage function, privacy partition, winged headrest with six-way movement, two individual reading lights and an overhead light per seat, in-seat power supply, USB Ports and an RCA socket for laptop connection, over 600 channels of entertainment on ICE, shown on a 17 in (43 cm) wide TV screen.
Onboard bar behind the Business Class cabin on the Airbus A380-800
The A340-500s have deeply reclining sleeper seats which have a 60 in (150 cm) pitch and are 18 in (46 cm) wide. All A340-500 aircraft feature the ICE system in all three classes. The Boeing 777-200s have deeply reclining seats which are almost lie-flat. They have a 58 in (150 cm) pitch and are 20.5 in (52 cm) wide. The Boeing 777-200s also feature the ICE system. On Airbus A330 aircraft and A340-300s, the seats are standard business class recliners and feature a leg rest and seat back screens. These business class seats are smaller than other business class seats in the Emirates fleet as these aircraft are used predominantly on short-medium haul routes. On Airbus A380-800 aircraft, the seats recline to form a fully flat bed and are equipped with personal mini-bars. Business class passengers also have access to an on-board bar at the rear of the aircraft. Business class passengers have the ability to customize and save seat and in-flight entertainment settings to a memory key for re-use on future flights.
Economy Class on a Boeing 777-300ER
Emirates Economy Class offers a 32-34 inch seat pitch (81–86 cm) and standard seat width (except on the Boeing 777 fleet). The seat features adjustable headrests, a 600-1000 channel ICE In-Flight-Entertainment and in-seat laptop power-outlets on newer aircraft and laptop recharging facilities in galleys in older aircraft. There is additional recline on A380 Economy Class seats.
Economy class dinner served on EK 216 (B777-200LR) flight from LAX-DXB on April 23, 2010.
Emirates is unusual in that it operates a ten-abreast, 3-4-3, seating configuration on its 777 fleet (rather than the customary 3-3-3 configuration). Other airlines with this layout include Air France-KLM (on selected 777-300ER aircraft), China Southern Airlines, Philippine Airlines and two Japanese airlines in domestic services (All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines).
Economy class breakfast served on EK 533 (A330-200) flight from COK-DXB on Aug 3, 2009.
In-flight entertainment system
Emirates became the first airline in the world to introduce a personal entertainment system on a commercial aircraft after introducing the world’s first seat-back screens in 1992. All three classes feature a personal In-Flight-Entertainment (IFE) system on Emirates aircraft. There are three types of entertainment system on Emirates: ice; ice Digital Widescreen; and Emirates tv&radio.
Emirates has won the award for best in-flight-entertainment from Skytrax for their ICE system every year since the systems inception in 2003. At present, almost 70% of the fleet has the ice in-flight entertainment and by 2011 the entire Emirates fleet is set to have the system. ICE offers more channels than any other in-flight entertainment system.
Economy Class with mood lighting and ICE seatback entertainment
Emirates tv&radio, is also offered mainly on short haul routes, and 30% of the Emirates fleet, offers passengers with 15 video and 26 audio channels, as well as 50 video games. Also available are BBC headlines, an airshow and external cameras giving a birdseye view from the plane.
Emirates A380-800 ICE seatback screen showing external tail camera view
ICE (Information, Communication, Entertainment) is the In-Flight-Entertainment system operated by Emirates.
Introduced in 2003, ICE is available on all new aircraft and features between 600 and 1000 channels to all passengers. ICE is found on the airline’s Airbus A380-800, Airbus A340-500, Boeing 777-300ER and Boeing 777-200/LR aircraft. It is also available on all Boeing 777-300 aircraft which have all been retrofitted.
In July 2007, Emirates introduced ICE Digital Widescreen, an updated version of ICE. It offers over 1000 channels of entertainment (up from 600) available to all passengers. ICE Digital Widescreen is available on all new aircraft.
The system is based on the 3000i system from Panasonic Avionics Corporation. ICE provides passengers with a direct data link to BBC News. ICE is the first IFE system to be connected directly to automatic news updates. This is complemented by ICE's Airshow moving-map software from Rockwell Collins. Exterior cameras located on the aircraft can be viewed by any passenger, through the IFE system, during takeoff and landing. Emirates was also one of the first airlines to introduce high-speed, in-flight Internet service along with Singapore Airlines, by installing the Inmarsat’s satellite system and became the second airline in the world to offer live international television broadcasts using the same system.
ICE also contains a link to an in-flight email server which allows passengers to access, send or receive emails for US $1 per message. ICE also contains a seat-to-seat chat service. In November 2006 the airline signed a deal with mobile communications firm AeroMobile to allow in-flight use of mobile phones to call or text people on the ground, on selected 777s. The service was first introduced on a commercial service between Dubai and Casablanca on 20 March 2008.
The ICE system includes movies, music, and video games. ICE offers over 130 on-demand movie titles and 15 video on demand channels, 60 prerecorded television channels, 350 audio channels, and around 50 video-game titles. ICE can also be accessed in 10 languages such as English, French, German, Spanish, Arabic, Korean, and Japanese. Since 2003, all entertainment options are available on-demand to all classes with options to pause, forward, and rewind them.
Emirates now features docking capability for Apple Inc.'s iPod portable music and video player as of mid-2007. This allows the device's battery to be charged, but also allows integration with Emirates' in-flight entertainment (IFE) system. This also enables the IFE system to play music, television shows, or movies stored on the iPod, as well as function as a control system.
Emirates self-service check-in at Dubai International Airport
Passengers may check-in between two to 48 hours prior to flight departure. This may be done over the counter or at the lounge within the airport. Self-service kiosks are also available at Dubai International Airport.
Alternatively, they may check-in through the Internet or by short message service. Online printing of boarding passes is available through Internet check-in. Passengers on short trips may also check-in on their return flight upon departure from the city of origin.
First and business class passengers, as well as Skywards Gold members, have access to Emirates Lounges. The airline has 27 lounges in 23 cities, with plans for 12 more. Skywards Silver members can use the lounge in Terminal One at Dubai. At airports in which Emirates does not operate a departure lounge, a third party departure lounge is usually provided for First and Business class passengers as well as Skywards Gold.
First and business class passengers can make use of complimentary chauffer-driven airport transfers in selected cities.
Frequent Flyer Program
Emirates uses Skywards as their Frequent flyer program.
Main article: The Emirates Group#Skywards
Skywards is a three tier frequent flier program operated by Emirates. It is used by over 5.72 million customers. The three tiers are Blue, Silver which requires 25,000 tier miles for entry, and Gold, which requires 50,000 tier miles for entry.
Emirates aircraft parked at Dubai International Airport
Main articles: Emirates Business Model and Emirates Rivalry
The established network carriers in Europe and Australia, i.e. Air France-KLM, British Airways, Lufthansa, and Qantas, perceive Emirates' strategic decision to reposition itself as a global carrier as a major threat because it enables air travellers to by-pass traditional airline hubs such as London Heathrow, Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport, and Frankfurt Airports on their way between Europe/North America and Asia/Australia by changing flights in Dubai instead. These carriers also find it difficult to deal with the growing competitive threat Emirates poses to their business because of their much higher cost base. The Abu Dhabi based Etihad Airways is also looking to take traffic away from Emirates.
Some of these carriers—notably Air France and Qantas—are so concerned about the detrimental effects of Emirates' growth on their future ability to compete with it on a level playing field that they have resorted to openly accusing their Dubai-based rival of receiving hidden state subsidies and of maintaining too cosy a relationship with Dubai's airport authority as well as its aviation authority, both of which are also wholly state-owned entities that share the same government owner with the airline. In addition, they have also accused Emirates of taking unfair advantage of its government shareholders' sovereign borrower status. They claim that this masks its true financial performance and reduces its borrowing costs below market rates.
Marketing and sponsorships
The Emirates Stadium in London
Emirates is a sponsor of sports clubs and events, both at its home base and in its overseas markets. It sponsors the annual Dubai Shopping Festival, the Dubai Summer Surprises and the West Australian Symphony Orchestra as well as the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. As of April 2009, Emirates spends 2.7% of its of its total budget on Marketing and Communications. For Emirates, marketing expenses account for a far greater share of its total costs than for most of its competitors. In the English-speaking world the sponsorship always carries the words "Fly Emirates". Emirates sponsors Arsenal F.C. and their 60,000 seater Emirates Stadium as well as AC Milan, Olympiacos CFP, Hamburger SV, Paris Saint-Germain FC, Asian Football Confederation (AFC), Emirates Cup, the Collingwood Football Club as well having sponsors with Chelsea F.C. from 2001-05. As of 2009, they also sponsor the Scottish Junior Cup known now for sponsorship reasons as the Emirates Junior Cup, which is the top prize in Scottish Junior football (as opposed to the senior football Scottish Cup).
Emirates also funds many events in Rugby. They co-funded construction of The Sevens, a stadium in Dubai purpose-built for the 2009 Rugby World Cup Sevens, with the Dubai government. They also will sponsor the Rugby World Cup 2011, IRB Referees and Match Officials, IRB Sevens World Series, International Sevens Teams, and the Western Force. Emirates are also a major sponsor of Emirates Team New Zealand, a New Zealand based yachting syndicate that has enjoyed success in the America's Cup.
In Cricket, they sponsor Cricket Australia, Lord's Taverners, and Pro Arch Tournament. Their branding also features on International Cricket Umpires shirts. Emirates has also become an official partner of the International Cricket Council until 2015. This deal gives emirates association with all major ICC tournaments, including the 2011 and 2015 ICC Cricket World Cups, ICC Champions Trophy and ICC World Twenty20. They are also the major sponsor of the Kings Xi Punjab team of Indian Premier League, the largest domestic Cricket tournament in the world. In Power boat racing they sponsor the UIM Class 1 World Powerboat Championship.
In horse racing they sponsor the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA). In races, Emirates sponsor the Dubai World Cup, Melbourne Cup, Champion Stakes, Newmarket, Yorkshire Cup, York, and The Singapore Derby. They sponsor the Godolphin stables, and the Australian Jockey Club. Emirates also sponsor the Dubai International Racing Carnival, Melbourne Cup Carnival, and the Australian Jockey Club’s Autumn and Spring Carnival.
In Tennis they sponsor the Dubai Tennis Championships, and the Canadian Open tennis championships held in Montreal and Toronto. Emirates also sponsor the Dubai Grand Racing. In Golf, they sponsor 12 events, including the Dubai Desert Classic, Dubai Ladies Masters, Malaysian Open, Hong Kong Open, BMW International Open, Austrian Open, Volvo Masters of Asia, Hero Honda Open, Australian PGA Championships, Africa Open, Volvo China Open, and the HSBC Champions.