Emirates Airlines’ Global Strategy Implementation

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The study investigates the efficiency of Emirates Airlines’ global strategies. It aims to prove that the advantages that Emirates Airlines has as well as its success are achieved due to the implementation of thoroughly-designed global strategies; and that the companies that operate in the airline industry will improve their performance and have a chance to expand and globalize successfully if they utilize Emirates Airlines global strategies.

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Both qualitative and quantitative researchers are used in the study, so the findings are made on the basis of interviews and descriptive statistics. Such an approach allows us to gather two types of data and to investigate the issue deeper. It also gives an opportunity to dilute more biased information gained from personal communication with accurate numerical data.

The sample consists of 14 participants. There are 64% of males and 36% of females from different management teams, which reduces inaccuracy. The participants are well-educated and experienced people who worked for ~9.8 years in the company and ~12.4 years in their spheres.

Emirates Airlines globalize successfully due to the attention they pay to the partnership with foreign firms, worldwide learning, diverse personnel, global efficiency, services, and product segmentation, and multinational flexibility. Such things are also vital for Emirates and can be used by other airlines that want to reach new destinations and are targeted at globalization.


For a long time, people were not able to travel by air, but when they gained this opportunity, the airline industry started to develop rapidly. Today there are lots of airlines in different countries that make the safest way of traveling accessible to the representatives of the general public. They focus on various groups of customers and try to improve their services to meet all demands. The same motives make them globalize, reach more destinations, and provide services all over the world. Still, some organizations face difficulties when extending their business and fail to reach expected achievements. To deepen into this subject, we will consider Emirates Airlines’ global strategies as this company is one of the most successful airlines that operate worldwide.

Significance of the Study

This paper’s significance can be determined by its utility in providing information regarding the strategies targeted at globalization and used by Emirates Airlines. Their assessment will allow us to define the advantages and disadvantages of the strategies. We will get to know what makes this company successful in the global market and find out what kind of its practices other airlines can use to improve their performance and globalize without problems. Such knowledge will be of advantage as it is likely to trigger the development of other organizations and to show Emirates Airlines what else they can do to support globalization. The research will provide the students who study management with new information and improve their knowledge. It will also become a basis for possible future researchers.

Statement of the Problem

Nowadays, many airlines operate in the local territories or have a rather limited range of foreign destinations, as they are not ready to globalize. Some of them do not have thorough-designed strategies that will ensure their success in the new market. Others extend but do not get the results they expected to gain. Many cannot reach stable growth because they do not pay enough attention to innovation and do not treat global expansion as a critical step in their development. Even some major airlines that have decent performance understand that they can do much better if they implement some changes.

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The company that is selected for this paper is targeted at becoming the leader of the airline industry. It has already achieved a lot, but not all desires sprang to life, and the plans for the future are also made. It means that there is a necessity to deepen into its operations and evaluate its strategies connected with globalization, to see whether they are good enough to let the company reach its goals.

Purpose of the Study

Taking everything mentioned into consideration, it can be concluded that the purpose of the paper is to investigate the airline industry and the operations of Emirates Airlines, in particular; to assess the global strategies implemented by the company and find out how advantageous they are; to prove that Emirates Airlines global strategies can be used by other companies to improve their performance and reach foreign destinations; to provide the recommendations to the Emirates Airlines and companies that operate in the same industry.

Research Question

The paper will try to find the answer to the question if Emirates Airlines Global Strategies are efficient. Using it as a guide, we will develop our research.


Except for the broad research question, we have several assumptions related to the issue that will be considered when dealing with this study:

  • The advantages that Emirates Airlines has as well as its success are achieved due to the implementation of thoroughly-designed global strategies.
  • The companies that operate in the airline industry will improve their performance and have a chance to expand and globalize successfully if they utilize Emirates Airlines’ global strategies.

Definition of Terms

  • Globalization is the process in which the organization involves when developing and reaching the international market and interacting with other companies, etc.
  • Global strategy is a strategy that serves as a guideline for the company when it is targeted at expansion and globalization.
  • Global efficiency is the ability of the organization to use its best practices, provide the customers with reliable services, and ensure safety.
  • Multinational flexibility is the ability of the company to define the risks and opportunities that it gains from operating in a foreign environment.
  • Worldwide learning presupposes a thorough investigation of the environments where the company operates (or is going to operate). It is targeted at the identification of their peculiarities to use them for the performance improvement and design of new advantageous strategies.

Review of the Literature

The tourism sector plays a great role in the rapid development maintained by the UAE. The airline industry provides the country with the opportunity to attract more foreigners and increase its income. Emirates Airlines are the best representative of this industry in the UAE today. Kilani underlines that the company entered a global market, and it works in more than 150 destinations regardless of the continents where they are located (2010).

Being an international company, Emirates Airlines has a range of business strategies connected with globalization. The company wishes to be as attractive as possible for the representatives of the targeted audience. It underlines its efficiency and flexibility by the involvement of various changes that are expected to improve the operations of the company in the local territory and abroad as well as to increase its profit. Still, globally developed strategies are not that easy to apply, as they are to meet the peculiarities of all environments in which the organization operates.

The host country also influences global strategies and their effectiveness, which can be seen as benefiting from an economic perspective (increasing income or/and reducing expenditures). Thus, according to the words of Grewal, Chandrashekaran, and Dwyer (2008), the company “maintains strong portfolios of brands, develop powerful distribution systems, and attempt to gain access to key strategic markets” (p. 892).

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Emirates is an airline that operates for 30 years already. Like all other companies in this sphere, it started working having limited opportunities. However, even at that time, having only two aircraft, the airline gained almost AED 25 million during the first year of operation. Lobo and Zairi (2000) emphasize that the positive development managed by the company is undeniable and astonishing. Today Emirates is one of the world’s biggest airlines, considering passenger traffic. It has the latest aircraft that ensure comfort flying for the customers. The UAE even design special sky policies and facilities that promote the creation of new airlines and the development and globalization of those that are already operating.

The belief that the company started operating as a small unknown firm and turned into something great is also accepted by Kaafarani and Stevenson (2011), who claim that Emirates Airlines has grown from “a regional carrier to one of the top three international airlines by focusing on operational (more efficient planes), category (new routes), and marketplace (first-class showers) innovation” (p. 46).

The researchers underlined that the fact that the organization is ready to make changes is advantageous, as it is the guiding force of development and future prosperity. However, the company is not going to stop developing. Hvidt (2009) states that it wishes to become number one in the whole airline industry soon. It is claimed that Emirates Airlines will provide the services related to its operations (repair, etc.) on a global basis so that more organizations will refer to it. As a result, the airline will be recognized by more countries. Due to the extension, the airline will create new workplaces with high knowledge content.

It means that the strategies will be accepted by all employees, and they will perform their duties with regard to the shared ideas (The Emirates Group, 2015). Some steps towards these goals are already made. The article in the Work-Study proved that a campaign that is called Step Forward was implemented in the early 2000s to “pursue the expansion of the supply chain through partnerships with forwarders and agents in order to provide cargo customers with wide-ranging logistics services” (“Supply quality,” 2003, p. 112). The workshops that occurred under it attracted more customers from different locations and allowed the organization to go beyond the boundaries it used to have.

Moreover, Emirates Aviation College is known for its cooperation with the airline encourages students from abroad to come to the UAE for studying, which has a positive effect on the Emirates and the whole country. Except for that, the company cooperates with Dom Pérignon. The case of their mutual work was taken as an example of relationship orientation in entrepreneurial firms by Beverland and Lockshin (2004). They claim that the company provides the best wines for Emirates Airline and allows the organization to provide its clients not only with high-quality services but also with the best products. In this way, the airline increases customer satisfaction rates and makes them travel with it over and over.

Emirates Airlines implement successful strategies when globalizing, which allowed them to bring benefits to the country. Balakrishnan (2008) investigated the company and found out that its campaigns occurred to be able to change the way foreigners treat the UAE. When the 2005 FIFA World Cup took place, their emphasis was “‘We all speak the same language’ (implying football) which helped negate the negative COO effect” (Balakrishnan, 2008, p. 74).

As a result, the number of foreigners who enter the country increased greatly. Almost 130,000 people from the UK and Germany come to the UAE for living. Except for that, more than a million Englishmen and about 30,000 Germans visit the country on a regular basis. The company changes its campaigns from time to time to meet the interests of the targeted audience and to encourage people to refer to Emirates Airlines and travel more. The slogans “Keep Discovering and the Fly Emirates” and “The Fly Emirates and Meet Dubai” attract numerous representatives of the general public who are fans of exploring new locations (Balakrishnan, 2008).

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Such things can be considered as a successful implementation of global marketing strategy, according to the views of Zou and Cavusgil (2002), as it influenced the international and local experience of Emirates Airlines greatly. Operating in foreign locations and working with people who represent different countries, the organization gained the experience, which allowed it to define the things that should be emphasized to attract the customers from abroad. It is not a secret that many individuals who work in the UAE are not natives. Diverse personnel occurred to be the thing that provided the company with the opportunity to see how others perceive it. On this basis, Emirates Airlines designed its global marketing strategy and made several campaigns.

Sundaram and Al-Aali (2011) conducted research that was targeted at the investigation of the strategies that the company applies and its competitive advantages. It was found out that the strategies that are undertaken by Emirates Airlines are interrelated. In this way, their main strategy that is based on innovativeness and creativity, is used in different perspectives. These targets are seen as the guideline in the decision-making process and problem-solving process; they are used to enhance the opportunities that the company can utilize to gain an advantage and as the attractor of new customers.

Innovativeness and creativity even enter the global level, as they give Emirates Airlines a chance to show up and prove that they are not like all other companies in the sphere. They differ from their competitors by non-traditional management approaches that bring success. Emirates focuses on details, so it is not strange that they spend much attention on the work outside the airline sphere, supply of products, slogans, etc. Everything is chosen to meet the demands of the global audience even more than to please the natives.

Research Methods

This paper is targeted at the investigation of Emirates Airlines’ global strategies. Some information regarding them was gained from the literature review made on the basis of articles that related to the discussed topic and were written by accredited scholars and researchers. More peculiarities and additional data, including the views of the employees, were gained with the help of research that was conducted after gathering theoretical information.

To make sure that the study and its results are reliable, the interview was conducted with professionals who have experience in the field and can provide decent information. The validity of this research depends on the honesty of the participants. As they found the study to be appropriate, and some even were interested in the results, there seems to be no issue.


The participants of the study included the people who work in Emirates Airline. The interviews were conducted with 3 superiors and 11 other employees who mainly hold the positions of junior managers. To make the process of interviewing streamlined and convenient for both parties, some people answered the questions with the help of e-mail. In the case of personal communication, additional questions were asked to gather more information or/and for clarification.

Before the interviews were conducted, the sample was provided with information regarding its purpose and other peculiarities. The participants were ensured that their personal information would not be available to the general public so that no issues regarding confidentiality occur. The superiors were allowed to disclose their names and to mention which words belong to them. To avoid the mess and any biases, the employees were not disclosed. The information they provided was mainly used to support and prove (or disprove) the data gained from the superiors, as they are not so efficient in the business strategies.

One of the main participants of the study is Tim Clark. He is the president of the company and one of the executives. We wanted to have a conversation with this person, as he is known for being involved in the transformation of Emirates Airlines into what it is today. He holds this position for 12 years already, which proves that Tim Clark is a very experienced member of the company who is well aware of all operations, including Emirates’ views towards globalization and the strategies the company applies. Moreover, he is claimed to be a talented route planner, so he can provide some information about the company’s practices in entering foreign locations.

Another participant is a member of the middle management team – Nauman Moghal. He is a partnerships and business development manager, which proves that this person knows much about the company’s operations. He is in charge of new acquisitions made by Emirates and has experience in business development and strategic management. As a rule, Nauman Moghal considers the financial part of various operations. He is also familiar with global strategies, as among his duties is the supervision of Skywards Frequent Flyer program in different locations. Of course, Nauman Moghal is not as experienced as the President of the company. Still, he occupies this position for more than 3 years already and works in the organization for 15 years.

As our research is targeted at the assessment of the strategies, we also approached a person who is responsible for planning at Emirates. Being an HR manager, Alison Elliott is also aware of the strategic peculiarities. She works in the sphere of human resource management for 15 years already, so she is well aware of the peculiarities of this job. Alison Elliott works in the Emirates since 2003 but occupies her current position for 6 months only. She is in charge of recruitment so-known what kind of people the organization needs. The efficiency in this sphere presupposes her excellent knowledge of business strategies, including global ones.

The rest of the participants are the representatives of the junior management team. Of course, they are not so deeply involved in the topic of our interest, but global strategies that are applied to Emirates Airlines influence their work and make them aware of some peculiarities. Moreover, they are to be in touch with the situation due to the knowledge management that works in the organization.

Data Collection Procedures

The survey was mainly conducted as qualitative research. The data was collected with the help of observation, interviews, and literature analysis. The interviews included both personal communication and communication via e-mails. In this way, more people participated in the research, and the data gained occurred to be less biased. Still, quantitative research was also used when showing the results that included some numerical data and percentages.

The convenience sampling was used, as the organization is rather large, and it was too difficult to reach all people we wanted to speak to. As a result, the superior who agreed to have an interview provided us with an opportunity to interact with several other employees. This kind of sampling allowed us to recruit people without much difficulty.

Of course, in this way, we were not able to reach the whole personnel, but the entire population that works in Emirates Airlines is too large, and there was no necessity to contact everyone due to the focus of the report on the strategies implemented by the company. Due to this kind of sampling, it can be considered biased to some degree, as the participants were not chosen randomly. However, it ensured that the people we were going to talk to are aware of the peculiarities of the company’s operation and the strategies it uses to develop and globalize successfully.

The very paper is organized directly due to its peculiarities. As the research aims to investigate and assess the strategies used by Emirates Airlines from a global perspective, it is put in the form of a report that describes the situation, provides the data, and then shows the concussion that was made. However, the data obtained during the survey is organized indirectly. The inductive approach allows putting the data gained from interviews first and then describing it and apply to the assumptions that were made in the other section of the paper.

Data Analysis

To analyze the data gained from the interviews, several data analysis tools were used. Quasi-statistics allowed us to make general statements that may be seen as not accurate enough information. However, they provide an opportunity to apply the information to other companies and generalize, which is critical for the effectiveness of any research. With the help of typology, we gained a chance to see in which relations are the strategies and how they are connected. Descriptive statistics allowed us to describe numerical data that was obtained during the research. Of course, the case study was mainly used, as the whole paper is based on the case of Emirates Airlines and its strategies.


Demographic Characteristics of the Sample

As it was mentioned earlier, in this study we worked with 14 participants in total. They all are representatives of the company under investigation, Emirates Airline. The participants belong to different types of management teams. Tim Clark is the representative of the senior management team. He is the President of the company who worked in this sphere for 30 years and proved to be a great professional. The company encourages its workers to get involved in charity, and Tim Clark is one of those who try to help other people. He is very devoted to this job and always does his best for Emirates to prosper.

The representatives of the middle management team are Nauman Moghal and Alison Elliott. Nauman Moghal is responsible for new acquisitions made by Emirates. He is also occupied in business development and strategic management. He holds in the organization for 15 years. The total experience is 18 years. Alison Elliott works in the sphere of human resource management for 15 years already. Her experience within the company is 12 years.

She deals with the hiring of new professionals. The rest 11 employees are the representatives of a junior management team. The rest of the participants are the representatives of the junior management team. They are like supervisors who deal with the particular projects. Their experience varies but is considered to be long enough to provide us with decent information. More detailed characteristics of the sample can be seen in Table 1.

Table 1: The Demographic Characteristics of the Sample.

Variables Categories Frequency Percentage %
Gender Male 9 64
Female 5 36
Education Higher 14 100
Secondary 0 0
Position Senior management 1 8
Middle management 2 14
Junior management 11 78
Total experience ~12.4 years
Experience in Emirates Airlines ~9.8 years
Support of Globalization 14 100
Volunteering 9 64
Interview Personal communication 9 64
E-mail 5 36

The sample consists of 14 participants. There are 64% of males and 36% of females. From the very beginning, we were expecting to have 16 participants, but 2 of them occurred to be inaccessible. They all have higher education and good experience (~9.8 years in the company and ~12.4 years in total), which proves their efficiency. 78% of the sample belong to the junior management team. Still, their knowledge in the topic of interest is decent, and the information provided by them can be used. 8% and 14% belong to middle and senior management respectively and gave more data. As this paper tends to investigate global strategies of Emirates, the participants were also asked if they support of globalization of the company and work to promote it.

All of them claimed to do this. However, the involvement into volunteering (which is said not only to help people in need and children but also to attract more clients from abroad and make Emirates recognizable) was mentioned only by 64%. As it was mentioned, the interviews were held in two ways. 64% of the sample agreed to have a personal communication regarding the topic of interest while 36% preferred e-mail.


In the beginning, it was assumed that “the advantages that Emirates Airlines has as well as its success are achieved due to the implementation of thoroughly-designed global strategies”. It is not a secret that this company is considered to be one of the best representatives of luxurious services all over the world. The way the aircrafts look like and how the services are delivered attract numerous celebrities and businessmen from different countries who want to reach various destinations as quickly and comfortable as possible. Emirates Airlines do not forget that the majority of the world’s population cannot afford expensive trips.

As a result, the airline develops its strategies regarding the audience it is targeted at so that individuals from different nationalities and social layers feel convenient and are satisfied. It also underlines the necessity to maintain the flights without any additional transfers even to the most distant destinations and to cooperate with foreign companies that can enhance airline performance.

This study also intends to prove that “the companies that operate in the airline industry will improve their performance and have a chance to expand and globalize successfully if they utilize Emirates Airlines global strategies”. Mainly this statement is true to life because the company pays attention to the most vital things that allow any business to reach achievements. Such basics as the reference to the population, services, partnership and competitors should be considered by any organization if one wishes to operate successfully. Emirates Airlines underlines its uniqueness as well as the advantages that it provides to the clients, which is a beneficial approach for other companies too.

Of course, each firm should also consider its own peculiarities such as an influence of its local area on the operations, etc., but Emirates Airlines can serve as a guideline for the creation of personal advantageous strategies. In this way, it should be considered as the first positive step towards the globalization if the company hires diverse personnel. It provides the opportunity to use one’s personal experience to find out the best way to serve some particular population and to design the future plan of actions in this area. The proofs of such claims can be found further in the findings.

Emirates Airlines is the company that wishes to become number one in the industry, so it is not surprising that it tends to expand and be involved in the international processes. During the interview, the personnel mentioned that the airline enters more and more destinations believing that the incline to globalization is its advantage. The employees are proud of their company, as it was awarded for excellence almost 500 times (personal communication, December 29, 2015).

To find out how the clients treat Emirates, their feedback is evaluated. Mainly people chose this airline because it is one of the leading companies in this industry that is widely known for its excellent services and products that make the company luxurious. As the upper crust of society chooses Emirates among other airlines, other people tend to follow its example.

Nauman Moghal mentioned that the company pays a lot of attention to the constant development (personal communication, December 29, 2015). Its almost 10% growth in capacity proves that the airline uses right business strategies that allow it to prosper. This year, it reached 144 cities, which provided the organization with new opportunities, and promoted it on the way to becoming the largest international airline. More than 49 million passengers were carried by its aircrafts. The company enhances international trade and tourism with the help of its services. The world is considered to be one large market for Emirates Airlines.

The firm develops not for the home market but the whole world. It works with clients, suppliers, etc. From the company perspective, globalization gives a chance to increase its profits. Emirates global strategies help them to secure resources, enhance efficiency by hiring diverse personnel and remain competitive. People can also reach new products and services and to get new workplaces.

The organization provides both services and products. To meet the customers’ demands, the company cooperates with other firms that provide it with cloths, drinks, food and other things (Emirates, 2014). Tim Clark said that they try to work not only with local companies but also with those that are located abroad (personal communication, December 29, 2015). It is critical to interact with the businesses that are recognizable in other countries to achieve mutual success. People who use some product are likely to follow it even to other industries, which attracts more attention to the airline and makes the clients of the airline recognize a new product.

Tim Clark mentioned that some time ago they were giving an interview and said that they have the best wine served in their aircrafts (personal communication, December 29, 2015). Soon, the owner of Dom Pérignon called them and claimed that his wine is the best one, but they do not have it yet. As a result, the contract was signed, and the company from France became a supplier for Emirates. Due to this cooperation, more people became satisfied with the services they received when flying and the organization turned out to be known as the luxurious airline with excellent products. Both companies gained new clients from abroad, which helped them to globalize and gain more profit.

For Emirates Airlines globalizing is seen along with the ability to provide “a one-stop flight to any destination across the globe” (Tim Clark, personal communication, December 29, 2015). To manage this, the company utilizes fuel efficient aircrafts and refers to well-educated and experienced staff, which is critical and advantageous for all firms. To make the global audience use its services, the airline segments its market (for business travelers and tourists).

Business class passengers, as well as those who cannot afford expensive tickets and travel in the economy class, can find the services to their liking. So the fact that Emirates are targeted at a rather wide range of audience allows it to benefit on the global level. Serving regardless the nationality also proves that the company sees the markets of different countries as a combined one. In this way, the clients appreciate the fact that they are treated equally and refer to the company over and over, which has a positive influence on the firm. Innovativeness that is underlined by the company attracts the clients, as they want to receive the most efficient services and products.

As globalization entails a range of challenges, Emirates Airlines consider the way they can deal with them when designing global strategies. Alison Elliott underlined that fuel-efficient aircrafts are not the only thing, on which the performance of the company depends on (personal communication, December 29, 2015). The employees and partners are also vital. When speaking about globalizing and global strategies, such thing as global efficiency should also be considered, as it ensures that the company can achieve its global objectives. Emirates tend to make sure that its operations are thought to be ethical, ecologically friendly, safe and reliable.

The airline pays attention to multinational flexibility. It investigated the local markets of different countries to be aware of their peculiarities and ready to face the changes in exchange rates and increased competition. Much attention is paid the resources. Alison Elliott stated that the company hires diverse personnel, which allows it to take advantage of their knowledge and cultural background, which is likely to help other organizations also (personal communication, December 29, 2015). Considering cultural peculiarities, they can create advantageous strategies and please their clients. By dint of worldwide learning allows Emirates prepare to enter new destinations. The company conducts research that allows it to define what the differences between a new country and those it is already familiar with are in business perspective.


Summary of the Findings

The findings of this study proved that Emirates Airlines achieved a great success due to its global strategies. The company conducts numerous operations that allow it to design the strategies that reduce the risks faced in the global market and increases the opportunities. Thus, the idea that the advantages that Emirates Airlines has as well as its success are achieved due to the implementation of thoroughly-designed global strategies was supported in this study.

The strategies that Emirates use to globalize are based on the fundamental approaches. They deal with the investigation of new territories, assessment of the situation in them, defining the needs of the population and their expectations and adapting the services to them. Such things as cooperation with foreign companies and suppliers are also vital not only for Emirates but for all airlines that want to reach new destinations and are targeted at globalization. So the idea that the companies that operate in the airline industry will improve their performance and have a chance to expand and globalize successfully if they utilize Emirates Airlines global strategies was supported in the study.

Limitation of the Study

The limitation of the study includes the sample, as we were able to communicate only with some employees from Emirates Airlines. It can also be external validity as some information gained from the participants could not be checked and proved. Moreover, people from other companies did not participate in the study.


Global strategies seem to play a crucial role in the successful globalization. They influence the range of audience, the amount of profit and expenditures. Global strategies presuppose the employment of particular personnel and its training. Thus, the usage of the most recent data collection tools is recommended to maintain a wider segmentation of the services, as it tends to increase the profit. The establishment of long-term business strategies is also recommended, as the company is reaching its goal. The implementation of the system that will gather customers’ feedback can be of advantage as it will streamline the process of innovating.


This work and its findings can be used by students and educators who are studying management and airspace to enhance their knowledge. It can also be of advantage for the employees of airline companies in the perspective of knowledge management, as it can provide them with a kind of a guideline.

Future Research

Future researchers may discuss how human resource management is influenced by the company’s support of globalization. Emirates Airlines can be considered in comparison with other global leaders. Moreover, the range of the study can be broadened by investigating global strategies not only within this company but in regard to the whole Emirates Group.


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