Emirates is an airline with a special role in the industry.   From an idea in 1985, the airline has grown to become the world’s fourth largest in terms of passengers carried.  Emirates is the world’s largest operator of the A380 and the 777.  Its special role in the industry is to be the great disruptor. Its performance as a company has been rather incredible.  Emirates is one of those rare brands whose emergence changes the industry it operates in.  Emirates managed these changes in two important ways; the first was a laser focus on service levels (Singapore was its benchmark) and also its decision to deploy aircraft that allowed it to show off that service.

Selecting Singapore as the role model was appropriate.  Like Singapore, Emirates was not going going to have any domestic traffic.  Therefore its business was going to face competition wherever it went.  It has faced stiff competition and in many cases overcome this because of its high service levels.   Starting with leased aircraft in 1985, it bought its first new aircraft in 1987, an A310.   At the end of 1987, the airline was serving 11 destinations and its growth has not stopped.

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