TTN

Emirates Group sees strong recovery

Adnan Kazim

Emirates Group recorded an annual loss of $1 billion for the 2021-22 financial year due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic impact, a significant improvement from last year with dnata returning to profitability. The group had posted a loss of Dh22.1 billion ($6 billion) in the previous year.

The 2021-22 Annual Report (for the year ending March 31, 2022) showed strong recovery across its businesses with dnata returning to profitability, and significant revenue improvements across both Emirates and dnata as the group rebuilt its air transport and travel-related operations which were previously cut-back or curtailed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

We spoke to Adnan Kazim, Chief Commercial Officer, Emirates Airline, for more insight into the airline’s heavy investment into its premium cabins, B2B bookings and the possible utilities of Metaverse in travel.

“We believe in our First Class,” Kazim tells TTN. “We’re among very few airlines in the world that are pushing the First Class and even ramping it up with our A380s because we believe in that premium category. Our customers appreciate privacy and it is more important now post Covid-19, when people don’t want to mix with a lot of other folk. As a company, we’re investing quite heavily in our premium cabins in First Class and Business Class. We’re doing a major refurbishment of our premium cabins, and our newly launched Premium Economy is another example of how we’re dragging it upward.

 

“No matter how good we are as an airline, we cannot take the trade partners away if we want to succeed”
– Adnan Kazim

 

 

“That doesn’t mean that the Economy Class is not important to us. We’re putting a lot of investment into the economy seat, and upgrading the product in terms of the meal and entertainment. Economy seats are equally important for us in terms of the income they generate.

“But yes, the driver is coming from the front of the plane, in terms of creating the privacy we think passengers wants. The seat and the privacy are one thing, it’s more than that: it is the lounge, limousine service that we offer, it’s basically every touch point that we cater to.”

As the push comes from luxury and premium cabins, travel advisors and bookers are bound to continue to be important to the airline. “We believe in maintaining the right balance between enhancing our own capability whether B2B or B2C and at the same time closely working with all the channels, including tour operators and DMCs because together we add immense value. No matter how good we are as an airline, we cannot take away the trade partners away if we want to succeed.”

Emirates announced earlier this year that it will soon launch NFTs and exciting experiences in the metaverse for its customers and employees. The airline, which has earned a reputation for its innovative products and customer-centric services, unveiled its plans to build signature brand experiences in the metaverse, alongside both collectible and utility-based NFTs. The first projects are already underway, with launch anticipated in the coming months.

Emirates also announced that its Emirates Pavilion at the Expo 2020 site will be repurposed into a centre for innovation, bringing talent from all over the globe to bring to life the airline’s future-focused projects including those relating to the metaverse, NFTs and Web3.

“Metaverse is a new technology, still in the discovery phase. Selling and marketing will be one part of it, people could see the actual product that they buy when they purchase a ticket but it could be much more than that.

“You can take it to the next level in terms of the destinations and hotels rather than just seeing the airline product. Emirates Holidays will also play a role into promoting places when that comes.

“Metaverse can even help in cabin crew training and staff development for mega airlines, especially with employees based in different places and time zones. We can plug all this together into one platform, one training facility,” Kazim tells us.   

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