With my offer letter from Deakin University and Visa in hand, the next step was to book my ticket to Australia. As any customer I was looking at all the flight options available, when I came across this offer from Emirates Airline. Emirates airline has increase the baggage allowance for customers travelling on all its flights originating from many destinations across Africa (Atta) . The baggage allowance has been increased from 30 kg to 46 kg on Economy class. 16 kg EXTRA, FOR FREE!!!! Why should I miss on this deal. Even though there is a direct flight from Mauritius to Perth, I did opt to travel an extra 10 hours via Dubai. Do I recommend Emirates as best Brand? No doubt Emirates Airline knows how to deliver superior value to customers on an ongoing basis .What is behind the relentless growth of Emirates Airline??
The rise of the Gulf Carriers and the Region’s Airport
Middle Eastern airlines are changing the dynamics of international aviation as Emirates, Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways are quickly emerging as the new global challengers. The region’s airports are also undergoing a rapid transformation to remain in line with the exponential air traffic growth that is forecasted. In 2008, passenger growth rates for the Middle East were 7% – more than four times the global average. Emirates Airline is the dominant carrier in that region. Emirates Airline has formulated its success on the following attributes : Market segmentation, targeting the most profitable market and positioning themselves through continuous brand awareness campaign(John F. O’Connell,pp 339 -46).
Market segmentation is a marketing concept which divides the complete market set up into smaller subsets comprising of consumers with a similar taste, demand and preference.
Market segmentation helps the marketers to understand the needs of the target audience and adopt specific marketing plans accordingly. Organizations can adapt a more focussed approach as a result of market segmentation.
Types of Market Segmentation
- Demographic segmentation
The demographic variables used for market segmentation are Gender, Age, Income , Marital status ,Education and Occupation.
- Psychographic segmentation
The basis of such segmentation is the lifestyle of the individuals. The individual’s attitude, interest, value help the marketers to classify them into small groups.
- Behaviouralistic Segmentation
The loyalties of the customers towards a particular brand help the marketers to classify them into smaller groups, each group comprising of individuals loyal towards a particular brand.
- Geographic Segmentation
Geographic segmentation refers to the classification of market into various geographical areas. A marketer can’t have similar strategies for individuals living at different places.
It is estimated that around 4.5 billion people reside within an 8-hour flight of the Middle East, providing the potential for a large part of the world’s population to connect through a single stop. Based on its geographical centricity , Emirates Airline have been targeting successfully the traditional air traffic routes between Asian and European hubs.
Emirates offers 22 European Gateways from Dubai , giving it a competitive advantage with passengers who wish to travel to secondary cities in Europe.
In fast growing markets like India and China ,Emirates increases its weekly frequencies by 238% and 444% in the year 2004 and 2009 respectively.
Over 2 million passengers travel annually between India and the UK . Emirates has increased its number of weekly flights from the major cites of India like Mumbai and New Delhi to UK regional airports like Manchester , Birmingham and Glasgow and also to London airports Heathrow and Gatwick.
Many African carriers are banned from operation to the EU because of safety concerns, and this provides Emirates the opportunity to serve various destinations in Africa.
On the Australia- UK route , Emirates increased its market share from 9% in 2003 to 19% by 2007 . 75% of Emirates passenger on flight to/from Australia are transiting through its hub at Dubai.
The goal of Emirates airline is to provide customized services for each segment.
Can Emirates Airline hit the Target ? Will EMIRATES be RATED Best brand in near future?
The core competencies of Emirates:
- The hub and spoke mechanism allow a number of cites to be linked to a central hub
- New airport terminals
- An impressive fleet of aircraft
- High quality in-flight services
- Dynamic cabin crew who speak around 120 languages.
- Competitive price structure
- Continuous Marketing
Positioning the Brand
Sponsorship is a vital part of Emirates marketing strategy. Emirates sponsors a variety of sports like Cricket , football , Horse racing , Tennis etc. The diversity of these sporting events is reflective of the different segments of its passenger profile. The events seen via television transmissions by millions of people help to strengthen its brand awareness.
“Hello Tomorrow” strap line, aims to position the airline as the “enabler of global connectivity and meaningful experiences”.
To increase its market share in Australia , Emirates has slashed Dubai stopover on its UK-Melbourne routes (Travel Trade Gazette) . Emirates has also invested in promoting Australia in Europe and the Middle East which inevitably attract tourism – but ultimately carried by the Arab carrier( Yahoo Finance ) .
Open skies magazine Emirates own magazine voted world’s best by executive travel. Features interesting profile of public figures section of articles on travel, technology ,health ,business.
Philip Kotler, states that the key to customer retention is customer satisfaction(
Weinstein,2002 , pp259-68).He notes that satisﬁed customers:
— stay loyal longer — talk favourably about the organisation — pay less attention to the competition — are less price sensitive — offer service ideas to the organisation — and cost less to serve than new customers.
It is clearly evident that EMIRATES has emerged as fastest growing global brand. So far they have been able to deliver the promises made to each segments. But the real question is – Will they be able to keep the same growth pattern while improving their standards (As customers would be more demanding and competition more fierce) for many years to come? We will have to wait and see.
Garveeta Sookram . Student ID : 216331958