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The case study describes the story of Emirates Airline, which was founded in 1985 and belonged to the three largest commercial airlines by 2013. The case details the business strategy, how Emirates' chooses new routes, technology, and equipment and manages its human resources, marketing and branding, and government relationships, which form an internally consistent strategy, which capitalizes on opportunities across geographic markets. However, will Emirates' strategy be sustainable facing increasing technical and political challenges to expand and new competition from the Middle East?
Juan Alcacer, John Clayton
Harvard Business School (714432-PDF-ENG)
Jan 29, 2014
Case questions answered:
- In an industry where profitable firms are scarce, Emirates Airline has delivered solid growth and solid financial performance for years. Why? What is behind Emirates’ success? (Think in terms of their resources/capabilities as well as their strategic decisions)
- Who should Emirates be afraid of the most in terms of competitors? Why?
- Is Emirates’ strategy sustainable? Why? Imagine that you were the replacement for Tim Clark. What would you change?
- In an industry where profitable companies are scarce, Emirates Airline has provided solid growth and profitability for years? Why? What is behind their success? Describe their global strategy.
- What is the role of Dubai in Emirates' success?
- Is Emirates strategy sustainable?
- Make recommendations for future growth, include any control or implementation considerations
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Case answers for Emirates Airline: Connecting the Unconnected
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Question 1: In an industry where profitable firms are scarce, Emirates Airline has delivered solid growth and solid financial performance for years. Why? What is behind Emirates’ success? (Think in terms of their resources/capabilities as well as their strategic decisions)
Emirates Airline, one of the fastest-growing airlines globally, has delivered solid growth and financial performance for years. This solid growth roots in resilient business and leadership strategies.
First of all, Emirates focused on its customer services. By differentiating itself from all the major competitors in this industry, Emirates was able to build value to its brand and retain its customers and build on its customers’ loyalty.
What helped Emirates Airline realizes at a very early stage its location as a strategic advantage. Dubai location offered Emirates an economic advantage. Moreover, Dubai’s low operational costs have helped Emirates manage its business model well, given the low wage of workers.
Secondly, Emirates has leveraged its brand value through an advertisement campaign focused on attracting one of the biggest football teams, Real Madrid. By targeting Real Madrid fans as a customer segment, Emirates enhanced its customer base and built on its customer’s loyalty.
Emirates integrates its business strategy to include two main metrics. First, the business model and how to become more profitable, and second, its operational effectiveness.
First, Emirate’s business model focused on the major metrics that generate profits. Emirates is viewed as a global airline and the carrier choice in the Middle East region and even beyond. Emirates also focused on promoting Dubai as a technological hub, well-advanced and safe.
Also, Emirates focused on building a reputation around its brand globally by mainly focusing on maintaining high safety standards, integral in this aviation industry and service levels.
Second, the operational integration strategy of Emirates Airline focused on targeting global-level activities that would positively impact Emirates’ overall business strategy. For example, Emirates in this category focused on building sales channels globally, building a global marketing program that targets certain customer segments, and managing its crew by hiring a high-skilled crew to overcome language and cultural barriers.
Third, Emirates invested in its technology to enhance its global presence. Emirates invested in its website to offer its content in 13 different languages. This helped Emirates reach out to its customers on a global scale.
Emirates also realized the potential benefit of investing in Boeing and Airbus airplane models. Although the initial investment was high, however, Emirates could gain a competitive advantage on this investment and is remarkably known as the first Airline to have Boeing and Airbus-connected flights to South Asia.
Internal Factors that aided in the success and sustainability of Fly Emirates:
The MENA region is generally unstable in recent years, but UAE is unique. Emirates succeeded in distinguishing itself as a strong independent country, politically and economically. Passengers are willing to travel to certain geographic locations, and they feel safe to fly Emirates Airline. Dubai has significantly increased the numbers of passengers by covering the entire region, and they motivated them by eliminating visa requirements for many countries and making it easier for others.
Far from the rain, snow, or storms, Dubai has relatively good weather. Hence, there is less factor that caused delays like European and American airspaces.
Emirates employs more than 60,000 workers. It developed effective training procedures for new employees and ensured that the old and new employees adhere to the company rules, ethics, and policies. Emirates implied the Corporate and Social responsibility program to maintain a competitive edge in the global market. As a result, every member is valued in the company as an important asset and rewards them with excellent benefits and a generous salary.
Emirates Airline provides attractive annual leave, education allowance, accident insurance, medical provision, and other benefits where the employee feels both comfortable and safe.
Moreover, Emirates is committed to equal employment opportunity regardless of race, ancestry, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, or citizenship. Consequently, the employees will contribute to making the company reach its annual goal of profit.
Emirates was the first airline in the world to implement the…
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