Fly­ing High

Bespoke - - ESCAPE -

Ev­ery year, mil­lions of pas­sen­gers re­con­fig­ure their travel itin­er­ar­ies in or­der to fly on a very spe­cific Emi­rates air­craft. That is the dou­ble-decker be­he­moth of the skies, the A380, which has cap­tured the imag­i­na­tion of the air­borne public.

While air­lines like Amer­i­can, Delta and even Ryanair can claim to carry more pas­sen­gers ev­ery year, and oth­ers like Lufthansa and Air France can boast larger rev­enues, Emi­rates has its own brag­ging rights. It’s the world’s most am­bi­tious air­line, has bur­geon­ing prof­its (that jumped 40 per cent last year, driven by rapid ex­pan­sion and bol­stered by a drop in fuel prices), an ex­tremely young fleet and has won sev­eral hun­dred awards for ser­vice ex­cel­lence. So at a time when the in­dus­try as a whole, is pre­dom­i­nantly fo­cussed on cut­ting costs, how come Emi­rates is mak­ing a suc­cess of spend­ing (ever) more? The trick, it seems, lies in the air­line’s abil­ity to an­tic­i­pate cus­tomer ex­pec­ta­tions. In other words, it’s a com­pany that of­fers you things be­fore you even know you want them. And once you do re­alise you want them, you will be in­clined to spend more to get them. Take the A380 for ex­am­ple. With a to­tal of 140 units, or 50 per cent of the or­der book, Emi­rates is far and away the big­gest spon­sor of Air­bus’ flag­ship prod­uct and as a re­sult, the dou­bledecker has be­come the defin­ing air­craft for the Dubai-based air­line. Com­peti­tors may pre­fer smaller twin-jet mod­els that pro­vide bet­ter fuel ef­fi­ciency but the four-en­gine A380 per­fectly suits Emi­rates’ one-stop, long-haul to long-haul, busi­ness model. And where oth­ers have merely seen the A380 as a larger air­plane, Emi­rates uses the ex­tra space as a the per­fect op­por­tu­nity to re­de­fine air travel al­to­gether. Set­ting foot on one is like tak­ing a step back to the good old days. The luxury of the ex­pan­sive cab­ins, the five-star lev­els of ser­vice and the gen­er­ous fa­cil­i­ties all hark back to the golden

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