Strate­gic force be­hind Emi­rates

Travel Digest - - INTERVIEW -

Ad­nan Kazim has been with Emi­rates a long time and he has what must be one of the long­est ti­tles – Emi­rates divi­sional se­nior vice pres­i­dent strate­gic plan­ning, rev­enue op­ti­miza­tion and aeropo­lit­i­cal af­fairs – but he as­sures me that ti­tle is short. “It was longer than this,” he says. “We had to re­move some words for the other func­tions I do.” Ad­nan, who works closely with the Emi­rates pres­i­dent, is based in the Dubai head of­fice. “It is a team ef­fort that goes along with any out­come,” he as­sures me. When asked about the vice pres­i­dent ti­tle, Ad­nan says there are 15 to 20 vi­cepres­i­dents with the air­line. He has been with Emi­rates since he grad­u­ated from uni­ver­sity in 1992 and went through the man­age­ment train­ing pro­gramme, which in­cluded cargo, air­port, pric­ing and plan­ning. Since the man­age­ment train­ing Ad­nan has en­joyed post­ings to Greece, Ye­men, Kenya, Tan­za­nia, Uganda, Egypt, Switzerland, Aus­tria and Pak­istan. “A nice jour­ney build­ing the knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ence.” For now he is back in Dubai. As far as Aus­tralia and New Zealand go, Emi­rates have been fly­ing here since 2004. “To­day we have 77 flights a week to Aus­tralia and New Zealand and we are see­ing mas­sive growth and de­mand from con­sumers in terms of the prod­uct we are of­fer­ing, the fre­quency we of­fer, plus the net­work­ing. But there is al­ways room for im­prove­ment. “Aus­tralia and New Zealand ca­pac­ity has grown over the past three years and we are see­ing growth op­por­tu­ni­ties.” Asked about the im­mi­nent en­try of Qatar into the New Zealand mar­ket, Ad­nan rolls off the ad­van­tages of his air­line: “We are a well-es­tab­lished air­line in New Zealand and Aus­tralia. We have a very strong part­ner with Qan­tas. We have 91 flights per week [with Qan­tas] serv­ing Dubai – mostly A380 flights. We have over four gate­ways. Of the 130 air­lines com­ing into Dubai, Emi­rates con­trib­utes 60 per cent of ca­pac­ity be­tween Dubai and any point in terms of the net­work.” Get­ting back to the ques­tion, Ad­nan says: “We love com­pe­ti­tion.” Emi­rates, he adds, has 76 A380 planes and by March 2017 will have 95 A380s.” There are three types of A380 air­craft, I learn. There are 489 seats on the flights that come to New Zealand. Other A380s have 519 seats or 615 seats. The dif­fer­ence is to meet re­quire­ments and de­mand with dif­fer­ent mar­kets. In the fu­ture A380s will be fur­ther en­hanced in terms of fuel econ­omy and there will be more seats. The plan will be to have slightly big­ger air­craft. “By 2020 we are fore­cast­ing to achieve 70 mil­lion pas­sen­gers – up from 51 mil­lion this past year. That’s a growth of almost 20 mil­lion in the com­ing four years. We are aim­ing to en­hance air­craft from 251 air­craft to an ad­di­tional 30 more air­craft by 2020.” The air­line is also aim­ing for 170 des­ti­na­tions by 2020 [up from 152 to­day]. There will be more fo­cus to­wards Asia and the air­line is keen to ex­pand in Latin Amer­ica and South Amer­ica. As far as New Zealand goes, Ad­nan is yet to visit. “New Zealand is one of those places I would like to go to. I hear a lot of pos­i­tive things about the nat­u­ral, re­lax­ing scenery – it is some­thing quite unique. I look for­ward to vis­it­ing and see­ing the place.” Mean­time, his goal is to con­tinue strength­en­ing the global car­rier. Emi­rates, he says, has just started flights to the Philip­pines and two new points in China [Yinchuan and Zhengzhou]. “In Au­gust we will be start­ing Hanoi and Myan­mar.” For 2016 the air­line is aim­ing for a fur­ther 10 to 13 per cent growth in ca­pac­ity with its A380s and 777s. “We have 26 air­craft that will be taken out from the fleet and we will re­ceive 37 new air­craft – 21 of them A380s and the rest 777s. One of the big­gest chal­lenges for the air­line re­mains Dubai Air­port and how to ac­com­mo­date more air­craft in the fu­ture.

Long­est ti­tle in the in­dus­try: Emi­rates divi­sional se­nior vice pres­i­dent, strate­gic plan­ning, rev­enue op­ti­mi­sa­tion and aeropo­lit­i­cal af­fairs, Ad­nan Kazim.

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