Dubai-based Emirates Airlines plans to have around 180 destinations worldwide by 2020, mirroring the emirate’s rapid growth plans, according to a senior official.
Addressing the opening session of the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) in Dubai, Thierry Antinori, EVP for Passenger Sales Worldwide, Emirates, said that the airline would continue to follow the same strategy that it currently follows.
“Be good, look good and make money – that’s what we do,” he said.
The fast-growing carrier added 30 new aircraft to its fleet and 15 new destinations to its network last year. It now flies to over 120 destinations across six continents. Passenger numbers have increased from around 1.9 million in 1993 to over 40 million today, said Antinori.
“Dubai and Emirates are like brother and sister and have grown together hand in hand over the last 20 years,” stated Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, chairman and CEO of Emirates.”Our job is to complement each other and all the other related industries [like hotels] and the neighbouring countries,” he added.
Earlier this week, Dubai announced an ambitious tourism strategy targeting 20 million visitors by 2020. The emirate plans to focus on family tourism and strengthen its existing tourism infrastructure to support that goal.
Dubai is also gearing up for the possibilty of hosting the massive World Expo 2020, if it wins the bid in November this year.
“Emirates is completely prepared if Dubai wins the bid, and we will certainly be 50-80 per cent larger in the next seven years,” added Tim Clark, Emirates’ president.