Adnan Kazim, Emirates
Adnan Al Kazim of Emirates Group says the focus will go back to winning marketshare when there are no longer any COVID-19 related restrictions to deal with. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Dubai: Emirates airline will be focusing on conserving cash and boosting profitability rather than chase marketshare – that’s according to a top official at the Dubai airline.

“I don't think market share should be the core focus of anyone - we need to make sure that we don't bleed cash,” said Adnan Al Kazim, Emirates’ Chief Commercial Officer, on the sidelines of a travel event. He said the airline’s main focus for now is to ensure that all available demand is captured and the requirements of an air route is met without losing any money.

“We don't introduce massive capacity to gain market share and run empty flights – this is not how we run our business.”

Competition has been heating up for long-haul market share with regional rival Qatar Airways. Qatar’s flagship airline has been reportedly running near-empty flights to improve its market share.

“We try to closely monitor our business and create that right balance between demand and the capacity that we deploy,” said the Emirates executive. “Once things come back to normal and there are no restrictions, then definitely yes, market share will be our core focus.”

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High demand routes

Emirates is seeing high VFR (visiting friends and relatives) traffic within the region, particularly to countries such as Egypt, Tunisia, and Morocco. In the leisure segment, the Maldives and Seychelles account for most of Emirates’ traffic, followed by recentlyopened destinations such as Cyprus and Greece.

India, which is UAE’s largest source market, has been hit by a second-wave of the coronavirus, prompting a number of countries, including the UAE, to ban flights from the country. Emirates’ commercial head did not respond to Gulf News query about the suspension’s impact on the carrier’s passenger numbers, but called the situation “short-term”.

“Both India and Pakistan remain to be our core markets as far as demand is concerned,” said Al Kazim.

Israel flights soon

With Etihad and flydubal already flying scheduled flights to Tel Aviv, it’s only a matter of time before Emirates does too. Emirates will decide on commencing flights once Israel’s border controls ease up, said Al Kazim. “Work is in progress from our side and we're reviewing that.”