With modern generation aircraft, highly efficient service, best-trained personnel and a nostalgic modern city, Emirates Airlines has made international air travel very competitive.
About 10 years ago, European airlines dominated the African airspace. They charged high fares with straightjacket on-board service, until Middle East airlines, led by Emirates began to give them a run for their money.
Today, European and America airlines are striving to meet the pace of Emirates, which continues to go a notch higher with its inimitable on-board service, extraordinary cuisine and unique passenger satisfaction.
According to independenttraveller.com, “Everything is over-the-top in Dubai — and this airline from the United Arab Emirates is no exception. From the striking draped-scarf headgear that their attendants wear to the entertainment system that offers more channel choices than other airlines, the carrier doesn’t shy away from standing out. Emirates was also the first airline to allow people to use their cell phones in flight.”
Emirates distances itself from airline alliances and chose to code-share and buy over airlines. It placed itself at a level that it has become a preferred airline by passengers from different parts of the world that could reject their own national carriers to enjoy the unique service of the Middle East carrier.
Emirates is known to erode the markets where European and American carriers hold sway and that explains why there have been agitation by these airlines to review the open sky policies in the US and in Europe with the aim to forestall the inroad Emirates is making in these markets.
Recently the airline took selected Nigerian aviation journalists on a trip to Dubai on facility tour of its cabin crew training. Emirates aviation cabin crew training covers a number of key learning areas.
This is where cabin crew personnel are made to imbibe the culture of the airline. For a new or ab-intio trainees, training takes place over seven weeks on all emirates aircraft: A330/A340, Boeing B777 and A380.
The seven-week course covers all aspects of the crew member’s role, including evacuation and safety and emergency procedures, group medical training, cabin service training, image and uniform and duty free sales.
Speaking during a tour at the Emirates Cabin Crew Training Centre, Dubai, Pamela Mizzi said cabin crew are trained on how to wear their uniforms and how to attend to customers, adding that the seven splits in the scarf of the uniform represents the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates.
On their appearance, she explained that the ladies are taught how to apply their makeup, the foundation to use, red lip stick of their choice to match up with their skin colours, nutrition and fitness and proper skin care.
Mizzi said once the crewmember wears their uniforms for the first time, it is usually like a dream come true for them.
“Every time before the crew members fly, their hairstyle, nails, accessories and makeup are checked to make sure they meet up to the standard Emirates has set down. We take note of how cabin crew compose themselves and speak to customers,” she added.
Also the Training Specialist Service, Ujala Bhan explained to the journalists that the seat demonstration room is essential for cabin as it prepares them on how to manually function the seats if there are malfunctions.
On the duty free products, which are sold to passengers while on-board flight, she disclosed that the bestselling destination is Africa and Lagos is one of the highest destination sales.
“Not all crew members are trained for duty free but in time to come, all crew members will be trained on duty free. The airline has its exclusive products. Cabin crew members receive 10 percent commission on sales for duty free,” Bhan said.
Instructor, Safety and Emergency Procedure, Walid Mansy said the airline has two simulators and it takes participants 13 days to embark on safety training.
“Pilots and cabin crew are taught on emergency landing, what to do when there is turbulence and how to respond in emergency situation. Every year, pilots from various countries and different airlines come here to renew their license. We train them, using simulators.
“Presently, we operate Boeing 777-300 aircraft and we are the largest operator of the Airbus 380-82. In all, we have 250 aircraft. One thing we pride ourselves in is that we continually operate the most modern fleet,” Mansy added.
No airline has grown at a faster pace in aviation history. In the past 31 years, Emirates Airline has not only become one of the largest commercial air carriers in the world but it has dramatically influenced the entire global industry.
Emirates officials disclosed that Emirates has remained the airline to beat in the world, from breaking plane order records to setting new industry standards, the world has often turned to Dubai to witness yet another astonishing milestone.
Today, Emirates carries over 50 million passengers annually, with a fleet of more than 250 aircraft. Its 140 destinations in more than 80 countries on six continents are continually expanding. Its workforce also is immense, with 75,000 people representing more than 160 nationalities.
The airline few weeks ago announced that it had done away with all other aircraft types in its fleet and would henceforth operate only Airbus A380 and Boeing N777 aircraft.
The airline officials also explained that Emirates was launched on October 25, 1985, with a Boeing 727-200 flight to Karachi, Pakistan. Chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum and Briton Sir Maurice Flanagan had been given two planes and $10m to get the airline off the ground – a figure they would now spend in a split second.
Emirates has come and jolt the long haul air travel market, forcing other carriers to jostle and upgrade their standards. Not only that the airline jolted the international air market, the Middle East airline is also there for the long haul.