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1 Abstract This conducted report discusses a strategic study about the global airline indus try, particularly Emirates

Airlines. The first part of the report provides a bri ef overview about Emirates Airlines Company followed by a situation analysis tha t includes the internal and external analysis. The last section will be conclude d with the current situation along with suggesting major issues that Emirates Ai rlines should address.

2 Table of Content 3 4 INTRODUCTION ................................................................... ........................ 4 EXTERNAL ENVIRONMENT ................................ ........................................ 5 4.1 INDUSTRY ANALYSIS ............... ........................................................... 5 Airline industry G eneral Profile ........................................................ 5 Life C ycle ........................................................................... ............. 6 Porters 5 Forces ................................................ ............................. 7 Key Competitors................................. ............................................. 9 Key Success Factors ............ ........................................................ 10 PEST Analysis ...... ........................................................................ 12 Summ ary of External Environment ................................................ 13 4.1.1 4.1.2 4.1.3 4.1.4 4.1.5 4.1.6 4.1.7 5 INTERNAL ENVIRONMENT ........................................................... ............ 14 5.1 5.2 SWOT ANALYSIS .......................................... ...................................... 14 SUMMARY OF INTERNAL ENVIRONMENT ...... ................................. 17 6 7 CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION ................................................ 1 7 REFERENCES ................................................................... ......................... 21

In 1985 Emirates Airlines was established by Dubai Government with just two airc rafts. Today Emirates has 83 aircrafts files to 78 destinations in 55 countries worldwide. It has a large number of cabin crews from 95 nationalities. It recent ly made an aircraft orders worth more than $ 26 billion for 45 Airbus A380, whic h makes the company the worlds largest purchaser of Airbuss super-jumbo. (About Em irates) Emirates Airlines recently becomes one of the fastest growing airlines and the f ifth-most-profitable airline in the world. It has been growing by more than 20% a year since the last 17 years making a profit of $637 million in 2004-05. (BBC News) Emirates Airlines is committed to achieve its mission, namely offering cons istently high-quality value-for-money service and to be the best airline on all of its routes. Accordingly, it is known as an innovative and customer-oriented pr ovider of advanced services, such as offering personal entertainment system in a ll classes, 18 TV channels, 22 audio channels and online booking service which e nables customers to book, search for flights and choose seats. (About Emirates)

Introduction Emirates Airlines to be the best in every venture ns profitably, to contribute to the new global aviation hub for Emirates Chairman, Sheikh Ahmed

goals for the immediate future and long term are, it undertakes; to meet its customers expectatio the success of Dubai Inc., and to make the city the 21st century. Al Maktoom

Because of that excellence, it gained over 280 international awards, such as the prestigious CAPA airline of the year award 2005 by the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation. (Internet travel news) 4 External Environment 4.1 Industry Analysis The aim of the industry analysis is to identify the external environment that af fects the airline industry. The first part gives an idea about the airline indus try profile. 4.1.1 Airline industry General Profile Airline industry is one of t he most competitive and growing industries in the world as it leads to economic growth, world trade, international investment and tourism. In the last decade, i t has grown strongly by 7% per year for both business and leisure purposes. (Air line Industry) Airline industry is considered as one of the fastest expanding sectors of the wo rld with growth rates 2.4 times above the GDP rates on average. It is also predi cted to grow by an average of 5 % a year from 2000 to 2010 (IATA). Airline indus try is affected by the economical growth, trade and political factors. As an exa mple of the political factors, the 11th September attacks dropped the number of passengers, because people were afraid and tend to avoid studying and visiting c ountries that have been attacked by terrorism. As an economical factor, the incr ease in oil prices destroyed the profitability of the global airline industry, a ccordingly it losses around $6 billion in 2005 (IATA).

Due to the unstable political and economical situation, many airlines companies started to modify their strategies and services to survive and succeed in the ai rline industry. For example, many companies invested heavily in the quality of s ervices they provide by offering, e-booking system, new interactive entertainment systems, more comfortable seats, low cost carriers and many techno logical techniques. All of that was introduced to attract, return customers and gain a competitive advantage. As being in such a competitive market, many compan ies started setting agreements among each other to reduce costs and share resour ce which is called as alliance. Overall, the airline industry will recover as th e number of passengers seems to be doubled by 2010 to exceed 2.3 billion due to the tourism, trade and economic development (IATA).Thus, Successful airlines wil l be those that continue reducing their costs and improving their services by di fferentiating from competitors to secure a strong position in the aviation marke t. 4.1.2 Life Cycle The airline industry is in the maturity stage, therefore the re is a strong competition in the market and the sales rate grows fast and then begins to stabilize gradually. As the competition is more aggressive in this st age, the advertising and sales promotion can be obvious. Moreover many competito rs increased their research and development (R&D) budgets to find best services to gain customers attention. (Product Life Cycle, 2005) Accordingly, many companies started to focus in differentiating their services a nd products from their competitors by increasing their customers brand loyalty. F or instance many companies starts to concentrate on cutting the operating cost, thus in this stage the profit margin decreases and the least efficient companies leaves the market and only well-established companies are the ones that remain. Accordingly, many companies use offensive strategies rather than defensive

strategies through modifying their market, product and marketing mix to survive and compete during this stage. (New product development) For example, Kuwait airways implements the strategy of modifying the marketing m ix by launching a low cost carriers in order to increase its customer base and l oyalty and increase sales, which is considered as a competitive advantage amongst its competitors (Kuwait Airways). Following section explains the porters 5 forces that impact airlines industry. 4.1.3 Porters 5 Forces

Threat of New Entrants The new entrants cause a threat to the existing company in any industry, because they might offer better services, products or costs. In the airline industry th e threat is low as the level of entry barriers is high. There are many challenge s that should be considered by the new entrants as follows: Capital Requirements . Huge budget is required for starting a new airline company to buy aircrafts an d provide services to customers. Ex. Boeing costs around $ 2 billion. (Ashraf, E mirates Airline) Brand name & Customer loyalty: Airlines companies have built an excellent position in the market which helps them to compete against the threat s of new entrants. The experience curve of the existing companies is high accord ing to their long experiences in the market, Ex. American Airlines. Generally, a lliances between key airlines companies make the entry on the industry hard for any new airline company.

Bargaining Power of Suppliers

Suppliers can affect the industry through their abilities to raise prices or red uce the quality of purchased goods and services. The airline industry has few su ppliers globally, namely Boeing and Airbus. Thus the power of the suppliers is h igh, because those limited suppliers have a control on the market due to the hug e demand of their manufactured products.

Bargaining Power of Buyers Buyers affect the industry through their abilities to reduce prices, bargain for higher quality or more services. The power of the buyers in this industry is st rong as there are lots of passengers (1.8 billion yearly), the switching costs a re low and passengers have many choices in the market (ITAT). The new technology of e-ticketing gives people the chance and flexibility to sea rch for many airlines companies offering better or cheaper costs and services. F urthermore, it eases the operation of switching between different airlines compa nies. Therefore, many companies provide the air miles system to gain customers at tention and to keep them as well.

Threat of a Substitute Products or Services The threat of substitutes differs from the regional and international airlines. In the regional airlines it can be higher as people can drive their cars or use trains as a way to travel within the same region, but on the international level people use airplanes to move faster and more comfortable. In the Europe they ar e using trains to travel from country to another for example, its easy to travel by train from the UK to France by Eurostar train in just 1 hour 40 minutes (London to France).

However, in many countries trains are not available ex UAE, accordingly such car ries have a weak threaten in the airlines industry since they are not used for l ong distance journeys by many countries.

Rivalry among existing firms In airlines industry, the rivalry is very high between the companies, as there i s variety of airline companies that provides best aircrafts and services to pass engers. For instance, many companies try to expand their market shares by offeri ng best prices, best customer services and exclusive promotions as well as by be ing creative in their advertising campaigns. (Ex: Air Arabia is low cost airline ). (Thompson & Strickland, 1995) 4.1.4 Key Competitors

British Airways British Airways is ranked # 2 in Europe and one of the biggest in the world. The y have 300 planes and 216 destinations in 94 countries. The key success factors of British Airways are: its a member of the largest alliance and it is known of i ts technology projects in offering unique services, such as touch screens servic e and being the first in implementing full flat beds.

Qatar Airways Qatar Airways was established in 1994. It has 44 fleets linking 69 international destinations. Its services and events, gives the company special position among st its competitors.

The success of Qatar Airways comes from its aggressive growth plan that includes the construction and development of the new Doha international airport, which w ill include the worlds largest aircrafts hangers to be used for maintenance of Q atar Airways. Additionally, by 2009 Qatar Airways plans to get 36 aircrafts from Airbus, including two A380, for Qatar Airways. (Airline website, AmeInfo) Singapore Airlines Singapore Airlines is one of the most respected travel brands founded in 1947. I t has a fleet of 90 aircrafts and it flies to more than 60 cities in 30 countrie s. Many factors cause Singapore Airlines success, such as young and efficient fl eets, educated staff, top ranked travel gateway and its low cost airlines known as Tiger Airways, plus its a member of star alliance airline networks. (Singapore A irlines Company Information) American Airlines American Airlines was founded in 1930 and is positioned as the largest airline i n the world in terms of the total passengers transported of 80 million yearly. I t has the highest number of aircrafts that reach up to 991 and serve 172 cities with five main hubs. Also it is first to launch the loyalty program frequent flye rs. All of theses are considered as the key success of this airline. (American Ai rlines) 4.1.5 Key Success Factors To maintain airlines companies success, various key fac tors should be implemented for this purpose: Differentiation

Airline companies tend to differentiate by providing advanced services. For exam ple, providing the aircraft with the latest technology, such as wide seats, etic keting (as mentioned in 5 porters section) will attract customers and distinguis h the company among other companies. (ex: British Airways).

Strong brand name Obtaining a strong brand name plus building a base of loyal customers are the ca rriers companies most concern. It guarantees that customers will stick with the strong brand name company and ignore any attractive offers form other competito rs. Some airline companies utilize some techniques to have a retain customers, s uch as offering a flyer mile to win a free ticket if the points were completed. (ex: American Airline) Alliances Airline industry is moving toward establishing alliances between companies. This will let companies to share resources via linking their networks to build a wid e base of customers, develop services and increase number of routes. Additionall y, it results in sharing experience and decreasing the operation costs. Ex. Brit ish Airways is a member of largest airline alliance known as Oneworld. Relations w ith supplier Airline companies must build a strong relation with suppliers by setting long-te rm contracts with them. Such relations will benefit the airlines companies, beca use this will keep them in the safe side even if there was any change in the pri cing strategy (ex. increasing costs) in the future as there is a contract betwee n them. The PEST analysis is the best way that leads companies to change their strategie s.

4.1.6 PEST Analysis

Political factors The airline industry is affected by political situations, namely wars and terror ism. For instance, terrorists activities in different areas globally, namely USA (11th Sep), UK, Lebanon and Qatar made the regions unattractive for tourists and business travelers and reduce the passenger s traffic. The political instability affected businesses between airlines in Middle East an d the world by facing a difficulty to join any international alliances with any of the airlines leaders such as American Airlines. Byman) Economical factors (Gr owth phenomena, Nora & One of the factors behind any success airlines is having modern airports support ed with latest technology to meet customers requirements. UAE for example plans t o invest in developing its main airports in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The UAEs total i nvestments on airport development over coming 20 years will exceed Dh 71 billion . The benefits of developing airports are: enhancing economy, reducing depends on oil revenues by moving into new sector (tourism), increasing tourists number an d thereby driving profits to airline firms. Globally, alliance is considered as the main factor of many airlines companies success as it reduces the operation c osts. Social factors Some of those factors are: increasing world s population, tourists and number of educated people. For instance, the population is growing globally, in UAE the

population in 2002 was 3,754,000 people and reached to 4,320,000 in 2004, this i s because UAE is a multicultural country.As the number of expatriates is increas ing, airlines firms profits will increase, because those expatriates need to trav el to their homeland sometime. Additionally, many diseases influence the populat ion in many courtiers, like Bird Flu, those killer diseases affect airline indus try since they reduce population s level. (Economic Development) Technological factors The new technology affected airline industry negatively and positively. For exam ple, the technology of teleconferencing reduced the need for face to face busine ss meetings which affects on the number of business travelers and on the sales o f business tickets. However, e-booking system makes the reservation easier and s ave many expenses such as reducing the printed tickets. (Current State) There is a growth in internet usage world wide. In the UAE, internet accounts are likely to grow from 251,000 in 2001 to exceed 600,000 accounts by 2006. Thus, local ai rlines industry should provide online services to get competitive advantage ex. Emirates Airline. (UAE to remain on top in Arab Internet market) 4.1.7 Summary of External Environment The external environment shows airline industry is in its maturity stage with a slow rate of increase, which resulted in increasing the competition s level. Onl y three forces have a direct effect in this industry, namely bargaining power of suppliers and buyers and intensity of rivalry. The barriers for new entries are high which reduce the threats of any new entrants. Some factors, such as politi cal, economy, social and technological affect the industry by either increasing or decreasing passenger s traffics. Companies use several key factors to expand

their successes to keep a good position and increase loyal customer base, like d ifferentiating their services, making a strong band name and implementing latest technology and join alliances. 5 Internal Environment 5.1 SWOT analysis 1. Strengths Member of the Arab alliance, known as Arab Air Carrie rs Organization promoting cooperation, safety standards among Arab airlines (Ara b Air). First airline in Arab World that offers online booking service. Offering long-haul flights, like from US to Dubai. Offering self check-in service for cu stomers at Dubai airport (Emirates expands).

At Dubai Air Show 2005, Emirates made an aircraft order of 45 Airbus by 2012 mak ing it the worlds largest purchaser of Airbuss super-jumbo. Providing employees wi th training, rewards and performance programs, thus reducing labor costs and inc reasing employees loyalty (People). An official sponsor of 2006 Fifa World Cup, which will increase its brand awareness. It has its own Frequent Flyer Program known as Skywards Miles that shared with Srilankan Airways. It has recently chos en Dexterra Mobile Platform to enable front-office mobile solutions that will en hance customer service interaction (Unisys). It offers training service to other airlines in Middle East which increase its profit. 2. Weaknesses High Operation costs due to huge investment on buying aircrafts an d implementing new technologies. Known of its high prices of tickets comparing t o other airlines. Not a member of any global alliances (UAE). It doesnt have a hu b in Abu Dhabi airport (capital of the UAE). Young airline that was established in 1985 3. Opportunities The income per capita is growing in UAE. Lots of investments will be made by the government of UAE for developing main airports in Dubai and Abu D habi. There is an overall growth in the population of the world and in UAE.

World Travel & Tourism Council forecasts that there will be an annual growth in the number of UAE tourists. There is an expected growth in internet users worldwi de and in UAE. Aviation events such as Dubai Air Show promotes for Middle East a irlines among other participates world wide airlines and show the growing of avi ation industry in Middle East ( Walid).

4. Threats It is located in politically instable region and the terrorism activ ties have been increased in Middle East recently. Increase of aviation security costs and insurance which increase the operational costs of airlines. The increa se of the fuel prices which rise the operational costs. The airline industry mig ht face losses of around $ 3 billion if the oil prices did not reduce. (IATA) Ne w entrants and the raise of low cost airlines. The e-ticking system can be abuse by the hackers or it might be crashed by viruses, this will damage the company database and will cost a lot of money. Passengers can be a threat to the company , as they have a strong power in the airline industry. The natural crises such a s the earthquake and hurricane. As mentioned by Al-Arabia channel, Dubai is thre atened by an earthquake (2005). This will affect the tourism in this region, whi ch will reflected in the Emirates airline There is a possibility of rapid spread of new acute diseases such as SARS and Bird Flue that affect tourism and airlin es.

5.2 Summary of Internal Environment As external environments, companies should identify its internal factors, namely strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Recognizing that enables comp anies to improve, overcome weaknesses, handle opportunities as advantages and av oid threats. Emirates Airlines has many strengths, like differentiating from oth er airlines, as it responses to new technology, such as eticketing and self chec k-in services. An obvious weakness is the high prices of Emirates due to its hug e investments in ordering aircrafts. Although it has opportunities (near investm ents in AD airport and increase of UAE income per capita in UAE.), many threats are concerning it, such as increase of oil prices, low cost airlines and the spr ead of killer diseases. Following section provides Emirates with the best soluti on in order to be competitive. 6 Conclusion and Recommendation 1. Is the airline industry an attractive industry?

The airline industry is a huge market as there are 900 airlines companies interna tionally with total of nearly 22,000 aircrafts, nevertheless it has a low growth rates as it is in its mature stage of life cycle. (The economic & social benefi ts of air transport). For any new entry the airline industry is considered to be unattractive, because the demand is low, the competition is strong and the operation costs are increa sing. However, for Emirates Airlines it is attractive as its strategy and market position creates a good defense against its competitor. For example, it created a strong brand name and customer loyalty in the market by implementing the late st technologies in its services to be positioned as a pioneer in the airline fie ld. It also achieves high profits yearly as it focuses proficiently to enhance i ts market position by differentiating in its strategies that would be used to at tract customers such as flyer frequent program. Also, it has many chances to overcome with all the obstacles that might occur an d affect the airline industry such as political or economical problems, etc. as it is a member in Emirates Group which enables sharing resources and reducing th e company s expenses, thus leading the company to protect its position in the ma rket. Overall, Emirates has a great market position plus its a profitable airline which is measured as a competitive advantage, since it has the opportunity to c ompete and expand its business to gain higher profits.

What is Emirates competitive advantage?

Emirates Airlines adopts differentiation generic strategy to gain a competitive advantage amongst its competitors by offering the highest quality services in or der to be the best company in the market and differentiates from its competitors . For example, Emirates airlines was the first airline that offered TV screen fo r all aircraft s classes. Also it was the first company in the Middle East to se rve the e-ticketing. In addition, it gained a competitive advantage by focusing in new segments in th e market. For instance, it provides another airline companies such as Qatar Airw ays with training courses by using the most modern machines, called plane simula tor to be the only company in the Middle East that offers such service. The aim of such changes is to be the leader in industry by increasing the brand name awa reness regionally and internationally which will increase the demand and the pro fit as well.

What major issues should Emirates Address? As the Airline industry is in the maturity stage, there is a strong competition between airline firms. Each firm should use offensive strategies besides doing a nalysis for internal and external factors that may affect its position. The rese arch and analysis for Emirates airlines address following recommendations: The operational cost is increasing due to huge investments of Emirates on aircra fts and services and increase in fuel prices. Emirates should reduce the costs b y making operational improvements, namely improving maintenance processes, maint aining high aircraft utilization and making effective flight scheduling. It coul d also be reduced by investing technology in distribution channels to reduce lab or costs. For instance , it is recommended to install more

self service kiosks in airports of the destinations of Emirates airline since it has already install ones in Dubai airport. In response to the threat of low cost airlines, Emirates shouldn t lower its far es after years of offering advanced services, instead it has to offer new low co st brand as a subsidiary of Emirates group serving economic travelers who are no w customers of new low cost airlines, thus expanding the market share. Extending routes is recommended especially there is a growth in tourism UAE. The re are main regions in the world that Emirates do not have routes in, namely Can ada, It has to extend destinations worldwide (especially attractive areas). Join ing a global alliance enables increasing its destinations, offering more fare op tions for customers helping to solve problems of new low cost airline. Investigating technology is recommended for improving customer service and Emira tes has to sign contract with an e-business company that offers airlines technol ogy solutions. E-CRM strategy is a new technology that Emirates should implement since internet users number is increasing. It allows managing long term relati onships with customers (Jiang, 2003). Generally, Emirates should do analysis for internal and external factors and its competitors and develop new strategies to stay competitive in the maturity stag e.

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