Emirates Airlines’ Quality Management Approaches

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Introduction

As the world has become a global village and globalization has become a norm in today’s society, so has travel gained significance in people’s lives. Technology has enabled the introduction of various modes of transportation as air travel gathers considerable attention, especially for long distances. For this reason, there has been an increased demand in the airline industry as competitors aim at achieving their customers’ satisfaction. Emirates Airlines has occupied a relevant position in the airline industry for its ability to embrace new technology, offer great services, and enhance good ethics.

Emirates Airlines is a well-established and the biggest airline in the Middle East. The airline is located in Garhoud, Dubai, and is one of the two carriers of the United Arab Emirates flag. The other flag carrier of the same and regional competitor is Eithad. Before the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, Emirates Airlines conducted an average of 3,600 flights in a week. The organization has more than 300 aircraft which enables it to conduct flights to over 80 countries and 150 cities on six continents. The airline transports its cargo through one of its branches, the Emirates Skygo.

When ranked in terms of revenue and passenger distance an airline has flown, Emirates Airlines is positioned in the fourth position. However, it is ranked as the second-largest airline in the lens of the distance of freight kilometers covered. The company was founded in 1985 with the support of Pakistan International Airlines in conjunction with the royal family. The two founders donated $ 10 million and two aircraft as the capital required to start the company independent of the government. Further, free training was provided to the cabin crew by Pakistan International Airlines. The chairman of the airline is Ahmed bin Saeed Maktoum who has headed the company since its formation. Emirates Airlines is a subsidiary of the Emirates Group which is directed and owned by the Investment Corporation of Dubai.

Emirates Airlines uses a mix of Boeing wide-body and Airbus aircraft for its operations. It is privileged to be one of the few airlines that own and operate an aircraft that is all-wide-body. The introduction of the largest Airbus A380, with a capacity of 121 aircraft in service, has provided the company with a competitive advantage. The Airbus A380 has served the company a great deal in its ability to fly through high-density and long-haul routes. More so, the company owns the largest Boeing 777 globally, with a capacity of 155 aircraft. Clearly, Emirates Airlines is a significant and competitive company in the global airline industry.

Operations Management Practices at Emirates Airline

Every company must manage all its operations to achieve a high-profit margin and anchor the company’s objectives. As a function in production management, operations management focuses on optimizing business processes to ensure efficiency in the production of goods and services. The primary objective of operations management is to achieve total quality and increase business profitability (Immanuel et al., 2014, p 74). It focuses on continuously improving an organization’s business operations to achieve faster delivery, improved quality, better utilization of equipment and workforce, achieving smaller inventories, and reducing work-in-progress. Emirates Airlines has managed to implement operations management practices by the use of various principles.

First is the act of organizing all their processes through the introduction of a process model. At Emirates Airlines, the organization and flow of processes are essential in the achievement of business efficiency and effectiveness. The most significant process in the company is the transportation of cargo and passengers. The organization’s management introduced a process model to achieve this process with ease. This model ensures the smooth flow of operations and provides the company with a competitive advantage. Some of the processes undertaken in Emirates Airlines are booking, payment, cabin features assessment, chauffeur-driven cabs management, dining services, clients’ communication, and in-flight entertainment. The company’s management has streamlined these operations according to their department to ensure flow and cost-effectiveness.

Quality control

Quality refers to the flawlessness of the goods and services delivered. Quality delivery of services and goods is key to achieving customer satisfaction. Numerous factors influence the process of assessing the quality of goods and services delivered. The quality of a service or good can be improved by adding value through creative and innovative techniques (Boranbaev and Assanbek, 2020, p 27). For an organization to remain relevant and competitive in its industry, it must continually enhance the quality of its products. Through understanding this fact, Emirates Airlines have directed significant efforts to the endeavor by adopting new methods of operations and advanced technology.

Emirates Airlines have adopted the habit of adding value to its services, thus achieving optimal customer satisfaction. The airline has attained tremendous popularity among its customers in the Middle East, Europe, and New Zealand. It has managed to maintain a strong brand image over the past three decades. The company gathers its customers’ opinions and comments and acts upon them seriously, achieving satisfaction. The company also collaborates with its employees in developing and implementing innovative strategies.

Cost Control

If an organization can maintain a low operating cost, it achieves optimal profits and success in its goals. The management team at Emirates Airlines has managed to understand and practice this fact this having a good pricing policy. Customers are attracted to products that are affordable yet have high quality which leads them to Emirates Airlines. The cost of flying using an Emirates Airlines aircraft is 25-30% lower compared to its competitors, especially European companies (Boranbaev and Assanbek, 2020, p 27). This pricing strategy offers a competitive advantage in the industry. The Emirates Airlines management has well-thought and strategized policies that govern their aircraft globally. Upon evaluation of costs in different airlines across the world, Emirates Airlines emerged as the sixth cheapest in the different flying classes. Despite the low prices, Emirates Airlines still maintains the quality of its services.

Customers Engagement

Customers are an essential component in the success of every business. Good customer engagement ensures good cooperation between the company and its clients. Customer collaboration enables the clients to communicate their opinion, comments, and complaints freely with the company’s management making them feel appreciated. They also have a sense of belonging when dealing with the company. Emirates Airlines has successfully embraced customer collaboration in its services by encouraging its clients to communicate with them on various platforms. The airline takes their customers’ responses with optimal seriousness and acts up to them within two weeks.

Change Management

To remain relevant within a particular industry, an organization must embrace change in its operations. This is because the business environment is dynamic, with new innovative strategies being implemented to increase the efficiency of goods and services delivery. Emirates Airlines embraces change as technology and business processes advance. For instance, airline tickets implemented a system on which clients can book and view their flight schedules online. The airline has also advanced in aircraft, such as the introduction of Aircraft A330 and a Boeing 777.

Quality Management Approaches at Emirates Airlines

Total quality management refers to the continuous improvement of processes and outcomes through actively engaging employees in innovation and creativity. Quality management ensures an organization maintains its goal, values, and objectives. The management practice ensures teamwork, customer satisfaction and loyalty, effective communication, employees’ participation in decision-making, and increased profits. Quality management is achieved through quality planning, controlling, and improvement practices. Quality planning refers to overseeing the whole quality assurance plan and how to target it to the customers. Quality control refers to assessing and checking the quality improvement process to ensure the desired outcome is achieved (Alanezi and Al-Zahrani, 2020 p 175). Quality improvement is the process of changing or improving the required sector.

The quality of a company is determined by the satisfaction of its customers. Thus customer focus is the primary principle of quality management. The second principle is leadership which requires all employees in the organization to have leadership skills. This ensures that everyone understands and can identify the problems faced by the organization and how to solve them. Other principles include continuous improvement, process approach, decision-making, and a mutual supplier-company relationship. Most importantly, the core principle of quality management is customer satisfaction. An organization would lead to failure if all other quality management principles are observed but lack customers satisfaction.

High Quality of Services

The primary factor that has led to the success of Emirates Airlines is the implementation of quality management and maintenance of the high quality of its services. The quality of the organization is maintained by the employee trainers, aviation operators, good flight attendance services, and cargo protection. The use of the International Air Transportation Association (IATA) is a perfect example of how Emirates Airlines maintains quality in its services. IATA is a body that provides services such as seat reservation, airport registration, delivery of luggage, cabin services, ticket retailing, and providing services at the destination (Immanuel et al., 2014 p75). Emirates Airlines customers have an assurance of protection at the airline, proper hygiene, and food. Total quality management has been maintained by the airline, ensuring customer satisfaction, increased productivity, and effectiveness.

Customer Focus

Customer focus is the act of ensuring that all the customer’s needs are met fully. It is a situation where customers are placed as the core factor when making decisions and strategies. Emirates Airlines has achieved customer satisfaction through quality management. They provide a remarkable customer experience in their processes, from booking, check-in, drop of baggage, in-flight services, plane conditions, and disembarkation. Due to the follow-up made by the airline throughout the flight, customers are very satisfied with the airline.

Emirates Airlines has installed quality personal in-flight entertainment systems to provide a good customer experience. The airline was the first to introduce these systems in 1992. These entertainment systems are installed in all three flight classes. The company advanced its entertainment systems in 2012 to advanced higher definition screens. Another feature of Emirates Airlines that ensures customer satisfaction is its excellent catering services. The airline is known to have the largest catering services in the airline business globally. The airline observes various factors when offering its meals, such as health conditions, age, religious beliefs, preferences, and dietary restrictions. However, the airline requires that special food should be ordered at least 24 hours before the flight. Since the company is owned by an Arabic country, all foods are prepared according to the halal requirements.

To meet the requirements of different customers, Emirates Airlines provides a division of classes. Customers are required to pay different amounts for every class, with the first class being the most expensive. The first-class setting of Emirates Airlines’ aircraft is an enclosed ensuite cabin with a floor ceiling and doors (Boranbaev & Assanbek, 2020, p 25). The cabin ensures privacy through the use of doors leading to its interior.

Leadership

Emirates Airlines ensure that all their employees are leaders by instilling leadership skills during training. This way, employees can deal with critical situations and make effective decisions on behalf of the company. Employees have the ability to identify a challenge facing the company or their clients and solve them. The airline has a strong team of cabin crews such as pilots, air hostesses, and other operations team members. They focus on understanding the actual needs of their customers and aim at satisfying them. Moreover, the organization’s top management provides the needed support for their employees in terms of resources and motivation.

The airline has made tremendous success under the able leadership of Ahmed bin Saeed Maktoum since its establishment in 1985. Under his leadership, he has invited and allowed experts in various fields to develop and implement strategies in the company which has led it to success. The company provides a good working conditions for its employees and has established international ties for the company with potential markets.

Potential Capabilities That Emirates Airline Could Achieve By Increasing Information Technology

Current IT Situation at the Airline

Emirates Airlines has continually applied technological advancements throughout the years. In 2019, the company’s flight operations established a new navigation technology that enables it to transport additional cargo into the international airtime in Kabul. The new technique replaced a technique that required an aircraft to land in Dubai first during weather with poor visibility. The new technique enabled Emirates operators to conduct daily flights to Kabul airport using its Boeing 777-300ER within the first three implementation months (Alanezi and Al-Zahrani, 2020, p 175). Emirates airlines have been able to carry an additional 250 tonnes of cargo since the introduction of the new technique. Moreover, the airline had a great challenge before the introduction of the technique because if the meteorologists predicted fog weather before the cargo cabin commenced, it would only carry a lighter amount of goods or it was off-loaded in Dubai to ensure safety. This security measure resulted in the delay of Cargo arrival resulting in customers’ complaints.

The flight operators at the airline established a new technique to optimize loads of cargo and enhance safety. The flight operators worked with a flight design that was specialist who assisted in analyzing the terrain of the airport and established a new procedure that was implemented immediately (Barua n.d). After planning the first design, it was coded into the airline’s system that managed flights and was extensively tested. Flight simulators were used for the procedure to confirm the calculations of its theoretical performance. It also ensured that an aircraft was in a position to clear any obstacles if a go-around occurred. The pilots were then trained in detail to support their operations.

Since the technique was implemented, the airline has benefited a lot from it. First, the aircraft can carry more cargo to Kabul than before leading to higher customer satisfaction as goods are delivered on time. The airline was able to save on the cost of transporting cargo more than once and made operations more efficient. The airline does not compromise on the safety of aircraft as the new estate route was thoroughly tested and approved. The technique also helps in reducing carbon emissions as an aircraft does not make return trips to the same destination. In addition, Emirates airlines invested in putting together technological guidance for pilots using the Kabul route to ensure efficiency and safety (SADIK, 2018). The airline has also developed such guidance techniques for other routes such as Basra, Eldoret, Addis Ababa, and Seychelles.

IT Challenges

The most important factor in the airline industry is the quality of customers’ experience. Despite the Middle East-based Airline investing heavily in entertainment and catering services in their aircraft, customers still complain of a bad experience while traveling. This experience arises from a long travel time, poor ground infrastructure, and lack of data about passengers’ habits. Another technological issue facing Emirates airlines is its inefficient bag-handling system. After relocation to the new terminal in Dubai, the airline developed the most sophisticated system used to handle bags. The system has the ability to leverage 15,000 bags per hour with the use of over 90 kilometers of carrousel of baggage and 800 RFID scanners (Al-Ansi, 2021 p 05). However, the system does not meet its customers’ expectations with its baggage system. The company has a plan to improve the system by the development of better processing efforts and a baggage tracking system. It should implement a system that allows customers to track their baggage in real time.

The airline does not offer personalized services during their travel as they have not concentrated on collecting data about their passengers’ experience. Emirates airlines should invest more in technology used to collect their passengers’ behavior data to upgrade their service delivery. This will help them in providing key services that customers yearn for when traveling. Emirates Airlines could benefit from adopting information technology in their operations by speeding up operations during border control, customizing alerts that are duty-free, and improving their customers’ experience (Al-Ansi, 2021, p 05). Technological innovation allows air traffic controllers to Track airplanes better by operating at a closer distance to each other. This technology will also enable the increase of overall throughput in the airspace. The Airline should also implement a new baggage tracking device that ensures real-time tracking.

Conclusion

Without a doubt, Emirates Airlines is one of the most remarked airlines in the world. It is ranked sixth position in terms of the largest airline and passenger kilometers covered. The Airline was established in 1985 with the help of the royal family and Pakistan International Airport. Emirates Airlines is the largest in the Middle East and one of the two airline flag bearers in the region. The company is government-owned through Dubai’s Investment Corporation. The airline is governed by a board of directors headed by Ahmed bin Saeed Maktoum. Before the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic, Emirates Airlines made an average of 3,600 flights per week. The organization owns more than 300 aircraft, with the latest investment being an Airbus A380. It is also the only company that owns a Boeing 777. Emirates Airlines connects to over 80 countries and 150 cities on 6 continents.

The success of the airline can be accrued too many factors, such as operations management, quality management, leadership, and customer satisfaction. Operations management refers to the supervision of production processes from initiation to end. The primary aim of operations management is to achieve an improved quality of products, cut operations costs, reduce inventories, and ensure better utilization and human resources. Emirates airlines apply operations management to ensure it provides its customers with the best quality of services. To achieve operation management, Emirates airlines have formulated the use of a process model that arranges the flow of activities. Most of the airline’s activities include groundworks, booking, payment, in-flight activities, and catering services, among others. Streamlining these activities ensure cost-effectiveness and flow of activities.

Emirates Airlines also practices quality control to achieve customers satisfaction through the provision of high-standard services. The quality of services provided can be identified through customer experience. In addition, the company practices cost control whereby it maintains a low operation cost. This ensures that the company meets a high-profit margin. The airline also offers its services at a cheaper price as compared to its competitors. Another measure that the airline takes into consideration during operations management is customer engagement. The company also practices change management by embracing various innovative and creative strategies.

Quality management is the continuous improvement of processes and outcomes. The process requires the active participation of employees in innovation and creativity. Quality management has three components, quality planning, controlling, and improvement. The quality of services offered by a company is determined by its customers’ satisfaction. Emirates Airlines maintains a high quality of its services by providing exceptional services throughout the travel experience. They also focus on the customer when making changes, and decisions implementing strategies. They provide them with quality in-flight catering services and entertainment. Quality of leadership is a strategy used to ensure quality in the organization. The management offers all the staff good working conditions while promoting their collaboration.

Conclusively, Emirates Airlines has embraced recommendable information technology and innovated new methods of conducting its operations. One of the recent technology embracements was the application of a navigation technique to establish a shorter route from Dubai to Kabul. However, the company still has IT challenges such as a lack of systems that air traffic controllers can use to avoid passengers spending long hours. They should also implement a better baggage-checking system. The adaption of this technological innovation will provide Emirates with a competitive advantage.

References

Al-Ansi, A.M., 2021. Applying Information Technology-Based Knowledge Management (KM) Simulation in the Airline Industry. International Journal of New Practices in Management and Engineering, 10(02), pp.05-09.

Alanezi, F. and Al-Zahrani, R., 2020, January. Strategic Management of Emirates Airlines. In Proceedings of the 2020 2nd Asia Pacific Information Technology Conference (pp. 172-177).

Boranbaev, S.N. and Assanbek, G.D., 2020. The role of information technology in the development of the air transportation market., (4-4 (73)), pp.25-27.

Barua, S., Term Paper on Emirates: The Largest Airline and Flag Carrier of the UAE Course: Principles of Management (ALD1202).

Immanuel Lazur, B., Jagadeesh, L., Karthikeyan, B. and Shanmugaraja, M., 2014. An approach to improve aviation quality management using total quality management principles. In Innovative design, analysis and development practices in aerospace and automotive engineering (pp. 69-78). Springer, New Delhi.

SADIK, R.M., 2018. Implementation of Total Quality Management in Airline (Case Study Emirates Airline). International Journal, 7(5).

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BusinessEssay. "Emirates Airlines' Quality Management Approaches." January 17, 2023. https://business-essay.com/emirates-airlines-quality-management-approaches/.