Based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Emirates Group (Emirates) includes (a) Emirates (the airlines) and (b) Dnata, a company specializing in aviation ground-handling services and operating at 20 airports. The largest airline in the Middle East, Emirates flies to more than 130 destinations in 70 countries on six continents and offers direct flights from Dubai to Washington, DC, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Seattle. Emirates services the world from Beijing to San Francisco and more than 100 markets in between. More than 1,200 Emirates flights depart Dubai each week, accounting for about 40 percent of all air traffic out of Dubai International Airport.
Emirates carries 40 million passengers and 2.0 million tons of cargo annually, using a fleet of more than 170 aircraft. The company has another 230 aircraft on order (worth about $84 billion) and is the world’s largest operator of both the Airbus 380 and Boeing 777. Using large planes such as the Airbus 380 and Boeing 777 provides extra space and luxury for wealthy and business passengers alike. Most of the company’s planes even include spacious private suites, and some planes provide a spa with showers. Emirates is well known for providing excellent service for high-end passengers in first class, but it also provides excellent service in business class and economy class. Economy-class customers receive well-thought-out meals consisting of many courses, e-mail, SMS services, telephone, and personal TV monitors with more than 1,400 channel options. Singapore Air is considered the closest competitor based on overall business model of top service at a premium price and markets served.
Emirates has more than 67,000 employees and annual revenues of more than 73.1 billion Dirham (the United Arab Emirates currency). The Dirham is pegged to the U.S. dollar so currency fluctuations are not significant. Emirates is owned by the government of Dubai operating under the Investment Corporation of Dubai name, but the company and the government of Dubai are quick to point out the airline has grown in scale not by way of protectionism but through competition. The government of Dubai treats Emirates as a wholly independent business entity on its own and attributes this to the firm’s success. Dubai has an open-skies policy and more than 60 percent of all flights in Dubai are by companies other than Emirates.
In August 2013, Emirates became the first airline in the Middle East to provide Google Now cards for their passengers who book via Emirates.com . A feature of the Google Search app, Google Now is available and fully integrated for Android (devices running Android 4.1 and above) and iOS (iPhones and iPads). This new product enables Emirates’ customers to see and monitor their upcoming flight, providing flight times and departure terminal. Google Now gives passengers relevant information on their destination (for example weather conditions locally, currency, local landmarks, accommodations, and attractions).