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Emirates continues growth as another year draws to a close

Carrier’s biggest milestone came in early September as it announced a proposed partnership with Qantas

Gulf News

Dubai: From the first month of 2012, Emirates has been achieving milestones. The carrier added 15 new destinations to its network in 2012 since January 2012. These included Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires in January and continued with Dublin, Dallas/Fort Worth, Seattle, Lusaka, Harare, Ho Chi Minh City, Barcelona, Lisbon, Erbil, Washington DC and Adelaide. The launch of services to Lyon and Phuket in December 2012 concluded the year.

One of the key developments came in the form of Emirates’ new approach to the world. In April, the airline launched its new brand platform “Hello Tomorrow” — embarking on an integrated marketing communications campaign as it continued its evolution from a travel brand to a global lifestyle brand.

Then, in May came another landmark with Emirates Group, which includes dnata, announcing its annual results, with profits of Dh2.3 billion for the financial year ending March 31, 2012. Emirates airline posted its 24th consecutive year of profits amidst continued economic unease and record high fuel prices.

In terms of destinations and frequencies, Emirates continued its rapid fleet expansion during the year receiving delivery of a record 33 aircraft, including a record 11 Airbus A380s and 22 Boeing 777s, which included four freighters.

Commercial ties

But Emirates’ biggest milestone came in early September as it announced a proposed partnership with Australian flagship carrier, Qantas, which will see Qantas move its hub for European flights from Singapore to Dubai and enter an extensive commercial relationship.

The proposed partnership will provide customers with a seamless international and Australian network, exclusive frequent flyer benefits and world‐class travel experiences, Emirates said in a statement.

Emirates also celebrated the unveiling of the 1,000th Boeing 777 during a special event in March at Boeing’s plant in Everett, Washington in the US.

In another first for the business, on October 1, 2012, Emirates said, it took delivery of three new aircraft in a single day — the airline’s 24th and 25th Airbus A380 and the fleet’s 78th Boeing 777-300ER. That was followed in December with a record-breaking five aircraft being delivered in one month: three A380s and two Boeing 777s — all representative of the speed of growth throughout the year and a strong platform for expansion into 2013.

And looking forward into 2013, Emirates said, it will kick off the year by launching two brand new routes – Warsaw on February 6, and Algiers on March 1, with more routes slated to be announced during the year.

The coming year will also see Emirates’ position as the industry-leading A380 operator reinforced with the opening at Dubai International Airport of the world’s first purpose-built A380 concourse in January 2013.