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Dubai Airshow 2023: Response to premium economy exceeds expectations, says Emirates boss – News

Photos: Shihab/KT

Published: Tuesday, November 14, 2023, 8:08 p.m.

Last update: Tue Nov 14, 2023 9:10 p.m.

The response to Emirates airline’s premium economy class has exceeded expectations, said Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman and CEO of Emirates Airline and Group.

Dubai’s flagship airline launched its full premium economy offering on board and on the ground in the middle of last year, offering luxury seats, more legroom and service that rivals many airlines’ commercial offerings. The airline has introduced this class in many destinations around the world, the latest being India.

“The premium economy figures achieved so far exceed our expectations. We will continue to see it on different routes within Emirates as more aircraft are equipped with it,” Sheikh Ahmed said during a press conference on the second day of Dubai Airshow 2023.

He said the largest international airline will continue with first class and there will be two, three and four classes.

On Monday, the flagship airline announced a mammoth deal with US aircraft manufacturer Boeing for 95 additional wide-body aircraft worth $52 billion.

Emirates airline’s profit for the first half of 2023-24 also hit a new record of Dh9.4 billion, compared to profit for the same period last year of Dh4 billion. The Emirates’ revenue, including other operating income, of Dh59.5 billion increased 19 percent compared to Dh50.1 billion recorded in the same period last year. The airline’s record performance can be attributed to strong passenger demand for international travel in all markets and Emirates’ ability to activate capacity to meet demand; and offer customers great value and services.

The Emirates boss said the aircraft orders announced on the first day of Airshow 2023 will help achieve Dubai’s D33 strategy.

More seats to India are good for the market

Responding to a question about increased flights to India, he added that there are no additional seats as the quota agreed between the UAE and India remains the same. “We hope more seats will be given as that would be good for the market.”

Last month, Emirates introduced its premium economy class offering on the route to India on its four-class A380 aircraft. Currently, Dubai and India are some of the busiest corridors in the world and the increase in flights will boost bilateral traffic.

Regarding a question about the IPO, he reiterated that the Dubai government, which owns the airline, will take the call. The Dubai government has announced a list of 10 companies in the Dubai financial market to increase their market capitalization to Dh3 trillion.

Dubai Taxi IPO was the latest entity to announce its intention to go public earlier this week. The company plans to sell 624.75 million shares and list on the Dubai Financial Market. The company priced each share at a face value of Dh0.04, representing 24.99 percent of the total issued share capital of Dubai Taxi Company.

Impact of the Middle East war

Commenting on the impact of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Sheikh Ahmed stated that all companies want a safe and calm environment.

“War doesn’t help anyone. It is very sad what we see around us. We see that there is a small effect and we hope that it does not continue and they find a solution,” he said, adding that he cannot quantify the impact as the airline reported record profits.

“We did very well in the first 6 months and the next 6 months should be good too.”

He reiterated that the Gulf market can accommodate more airlines, like other markets in Asia, Europe, America and Australia.

He ruled out buying stakes in other airlines.

He also hopes that there will be no delays in deliveries from the aircraft manufacturer.

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