Emirates Airline: Description and Marketing Plan

Abstract

This paper is devoted to evaluating the marketing plan that belongs to one of the most powerful airline companies in the world: Emirates Airline. The paper is divided into several sections, each describing a part of the plan. In the first part, we give account of the Emirate Airline business description. We state the number of routes the airline launches and point out its advantages over other middle-eastern airline companies in terms of the customer base, revenues, fleet size, and in-flight facilities. In the second part, we provide a SWOT analysis of the company. The third part features the definition of Emirate Airline’s customers: they are distinguished mainly by class and, consequently, the means of attracting them.

The next part is consistent with a short description of Emirate Airline’s four main competitors, which are Qatar Airways and Etihad in the Middle East and British Airways and Lufthansa in Europe. Another part of our paper features Emirate Airline’s sales and marketing budgets as related to the expansion of its customer base during a six-year period. We also give account of Emirate Airline’s global market share. In the sixth part we have included a brief overview of Emirate Airline’s way of messaging its customers. Indeed, the company has found many ways to inform its target audience of the novelties it has on offer. Finally, we make an attempt at evaluating the overall effect of the marketing strategies deployed by the company and point out the most successful ones that has led the company to its current position on the global market.

Emirates Airline Business Description

Emirates Airline is the biggest of its kind in the Middle East and one of the most powerful in the world. It launches over 3,000 routes from the hub in Dubai to 78 countries over the world. It outruns all other middle-eastern airlines by the number of passengers, profits, and the size of the fleet. It benefits the customers with convenient airbuses equipped by the state of art with digital entertainment systems and Wi-Fi networks; they also offer luxurious flight options including showers, beds, and specialty foods.

SWOT Analysis

The SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis can be demonstrated in the form of a chart.

Strengths:
  • Fleet efficiency and comfort;
  • Backup by Dubai Government;
  • No extra charges at the hub;
  • Safety record;
  • Wide array of destinations.
Weaknesses:
  • Reliance on high class customers;
  • Abundance of in-flight facilities in relatively short flight time.
Opportunities:
  • Reduce night flying restrictions at Dubai Airport;
  • Further expand destination list;
  • Ally with Qantas Airways.
  • Deploy more fuel-efficient policy.
Threats:
  • Accusations of unfair competition;
  • Rising prices of fuel;
  • Rivalry and sabotage.

Customer Definition

As the SWOT analysis showed, Emirates Airline relies mainly on high-class customers and business travelers. However, with extended seats and cargo capacity, it also encompasses other classes and income levels. Subsequently, different classes of customers value different features that Emirates Airline has on offer. The Airline has adopted an individual approach for each level. The newsletters and offers opt for a pre-defined points that might be of interest to this or that class of customers. For instance, the most valued upper class is attracted with new upgrades and VIP-options, e.g., showers and exquisite food in the Emirate’s new air jets A380.

Key Competitors

The two major competitors of Emirates Airline within the UAE are Qatar Airways and Etihad. The first one is headquartered in Doha, Qatar, and is among the premium middle-eastern airlines. Etihad, one of the most rapidly developing airlines in the world, is headquartered in Abu Dhabi. With Emirates Airline headquartered in Dubai, it turns out that all three companies have evolved in their home cities with strong economy and top-class products for in-flight usage.

As to the other competitors, it is worth mentioning British Airways and Lufthansa as the most powerful ones on the global scale. However, Emirates Airline has adopted a competitor-unfriendly approach, increasing its market shares in India and Europe. It has shown extreme customer-orientedness through in-flight entertainment opportunities and food, which resulted in 35% of its market shares in India in 2011 (“Emirates aims to increase market share on routes to US, Europe,” 2011). It also expanded its customer base in Copenhagen by introducing a new high-density daily A380 route (“Emirates launches daily A380 service to Copenhagen,” 2015). Thus, Emirates Airline is constantly expanding its customer range and adjusting its services to their liking, leaving the competitors behind.

Sales and Marketing Budget

According to the most recent announcements, the 2014-2015 revenue has reached US$ 24 billion. It is absolutely justifiable by the rapid growth of the numbers of passengers carried, which can be presented in the form of a chart:

FY (Fiscal Year) Number of Emirates Airline Passengers (millions per fiscal year)
2009-10 27.5
2010-11 31.4
2011-12 34
2012-13 39.4
2013-14 44.5
2014-15 49.3

Besides, Emirates airline is identified as having a global market share of more than 9%. It is also reported to have an annual marketing budget of $400 million USD, which, however, is distributed among properties in markets elsewhere. As one of the major Emirates’ strategies includes making itself relevant on a wide range of markets apart from its primary one, it engages itself into sponsoring sports organizations such as Real Madrid, Arsenal, FA Cup, Formula 1, etc. (“Emirates Airlines Invest 36% of their Marketing Budget on 8 Key Properties,” 2015).

Marketing Communication, Activities and Sales Channels

Among the ways Emirates Airline communicates its messages to the customers there is a special place for visual materials available on TV and the Internet. With the introduction of a new double deck wide-body airbus A380 came a plethora of video clips currently available on YouTube. Most of them include a brief presentation of the airbus from the outside and the inside, the images of luxury seats, high-quality food, trustworthy pilots, and smiling stewards eager to assist.

Others call for experiencing top-class flying anew, with digital entertainment system and Wi-Fi connection. Still others feature interviews with persons in charge for the launches to build the customers’ trust (Imaginetvnetwork, 2012). Other sources of information for customers include various social networks (e.g., Facebook and Twitter), applications for Apple iOS, etc. The most recent and successful marketing activity would be the expansion of traveling benefits for loyal customers (“Keeping a steady compass,” 2015).

Progress Evaluation

The fact that Emirates Airline has so rapidly expanded its customer base since 2009 fiscal year certainly accounts for the success of its strategies. No other airline offers such a wide range of customer-oriented services the customers can get while on board: for example, providing the customers with Wi-Fi and other features available during the flight is a worthwhile novelty contributing to the company’s success.

Reference

“Emirates aims to increase market share on routes to US, Europe.” (2011). The Hindu Business Line. Web.

“Emirates launches daily A380 service to Copenhagen.” (2015). Web.

[Imaginetvnetwork]. (2012). The Emirates’ A380 Experience. [Video File.] Web.

“Keeping a steady compass.” (2015). The Emirates Group Annual Report. Web.

“Emirates Airlines Invest 36% of their Marketing Budget on 8 Key Properties.”

(2015). S&E Sponsorship Group. Web.