Emirates Flying High

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Emirates is investing in a wide-body jet fleet including 90 Airbus SAS A380 Super-jumbos worth $34bn at list prices and financing the planes isn’t a concern as it’s fully funded through July 2012.

The Airbus A380 superjumbo jet is with 45,000 seats and operating costs 12 percent lower than rival Boeing’s latest 747. That huge fleet of double-decker widebodies poses a threat to big European carriers that, like Emirates, specialize in flying passengers long distances through giant transfer hubs, says British Airways CEO Willie Walsh

Emirates’ latest order for 32 A380s valued at $11 billion, announced in June, will give it 70 more super jumbos than any other airline. “It’s a miracle that Emirates already has more intercontinental seats than Air France and British Airways combined,” says Wolfgang Mayrhuber, CEO of Lufthansa. “It took us 40 years to get 30 747s in the air in one of the biggest global economies, so one must assume that this is an investment for the world.”

Emirates airlines is at the 24th position in the international ranking. In the recent years it has been observed that emirates have achieved a sixfold increase in traffic viz. defined as passengers carried multiplied by the distance flown. The Dubai carrier zoomed ahead last year to join Lufthansa and Air France-KLM Group as the biggest operators of international flights. “We always planned to grow, we were just never able to put our finger on how quickly,” says Maurice Flanagan, founding CEO at Emirates and currently executive vice-chairman. “Now we’re short of capacity all the time.”

Emirates will continue to expand its ground-handling operations and is in talks concerning one or two acquisition opportunities in the segment, to be announced before the year’s end, said Chapman. “We continue to look at opportunities,” the Executive added.

Source: BusinessWeek, Newzglobe

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