30-seconds with: Thierry Antinori,
EVP Passenger Sales Worldwide, Emirates
anna.aero sat down with Thierry Antinori, Executive Vice President for Passenger Sales Worldwide, Emirates, following his address at the 22nd ACI EUROPE General Assembly on 21 June.
anna.aero: Is Europe still a growth market for Emirates, or is your focus turning elsewhere for new route opportunities?
Antinori: We see opportunities worldwide. We opened 11 new points last year and will open 12 to 14 this year. There is a dynamism to Emirates in Europe. Among all of our growth areas, Europe is number one. We have 33 destinations in Europe and this year will offer 25% more seats in Europe than last year. Today, we operate one daily flight between Madrid and Dubai – we will add a second daily flight on 1 July, also with a 777. We will also launch a daily service between Barcelona and Dubai in July, as well as a Lisbon-Dubai service. Europe will always be on the map in this world and we will continue to grow in Europe.
anna.aero: What sets the pace of your growth – market demand limitations or is the demand there, but bilateral constraints/slot availability limits your growth?
Antinori: “We have some limitations in Canada, Germany, India and China on traffic rights. If we don’t get traffic rights, we can redeploy our fleet on other routes. Berlin would not give us flights, so we started a third daily service to Frankfurt.”
anna.aero: Which country gives you more headache – Germany or Canada?
Antinori: “Germany is not a big headache, as it will not bankrupt Emirates, but it is a pity for the customers. We want to link Dubai with the capital airport of the biggest economy in Europe. The situation in Canada is a little more sad, as we cannot offer even a daily operation to Dubai. It is a shame, as we have been so successful with our three weekly services, which are completely full.”
anna.aero: Do you think you can continue to expand globally as an independent carrier or will you need alliance membership or deep partnerships with other carriers to provide feed in, for example, the US and China?
Antinori: “We do not believe in the alliance system, which just exists to satisfy shareholders not customers. We believe in satisfying the customer – if the customers are happy, the shareholders will be happy. We do have arrangements with some other carriers, which are working well.”