Emirates chairman predicts “another challenging year”
His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman of Emirates, has announced that the multi-billion dollar airline is expected to have “another challenging year”.
Despite the news coming just months after the airline predicted a 75 percent decrease in profitably, Sheikh Maktoum believes that Emirates will still remain profitable.
“I think we will still be profitable, but it will be another challenging year for us again,” he said at a press conference at the Arabian Travel Market.
Speaking on the reasons for the suspected drop the chairman confessed that to some extent it is due to the US electronic travel ban that requires all passengers from Dubai to the US to check-in their electronics that are bigger than a smart phone until October 14 of this year.
As a result of the new US policies, that was made effective from March 25, the airline has had to make contingency plans. These include reducing the frequency of five of its 12 US routes from June 1, introducing loaner tablets to all Business and First Class passengers on US flights, and rolling out a laptop handling service to allow passengers to use their laptops until boarding.
The award-winning airline has also focused its attention on new routes that will help maintain the airlines profitability.
“We always think about what could be the new markets that we have to deploy aircraft. At present I have at least 100 destinations on my bilaterals that I haven’t really used.
“It’s a matter of supply and demand. I am ready to find ways and means to go into different markets. So it’s maybe that some of the challenges you see today could be a benefit because I will be very much exploring those points in a different way,” he said.
And, with Emirates having just announced that it will be flying to Madrid, Spain, twice a day, it looks like the world’s busiest international airline is currently focusing on expanding its influence in Europe.