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Rashid Al-Ardha, Former Country Manager for Emirates Airline Indonesia

 

What is the strategy for the airline to boost tourism to your home country?

We always put Dubai as a part of our communications to our passengers. Emirates provides travelers with direct connections to more than 158 destinations in 85 countries and territories, including 42 destinations in Europe, over 20 destinations in Africa, 50 destinations in Asia and the Pacific, 13 in the Middle East and 17 in the Americas. All Emirates’ passengers have Dubai as the hub of their trip. With everything from fine dining and nightlife to sightseeing and sport, it’s a truly international oasis that attracts entrepreneurs, adventurers, and experience- seekers alike, whether people travel to Dubai for business or on holiday, there is plenty to discover. We regularly launch promotions and unique propositions to attract more passengers to visit Dubai. My Emirates Pass is a seasonal offer that turns the Emirates boarding pass into access to great discounts around Dubai is an example.

How are you positioning the brand for the overseas market?

We aim to position us as the go-to airline choice for both locals and foreigners. We want to deliver the best possible service to our customers by investing in our products, including tailor-made ones designed to suit the market, as well as continuing to be innovative in our approach. We are a connector of people across 6 continents and the connector of people with the rest of the world

How do you improve the travel experience for the modern airline customer?

We invest to continually enhance our business performance, improve our customer proposition, and create industry-leading products, services, and solutions Emirates has always been the First to the market with new Product introductions. the first personal IFE in every seat and every cabin (1992), the first Shower spas (2008), the first Fully enclosed first-class suites (2017), and the First/only A380 services: Brazil, Denmark, Spain, and Taiwan, Korea, China, to name a few. We also introduced several new services based on the latest technology, such as the introduction of the immersive 3D seat models on emirates.com, making it the first airline in the world to roll out web virtual reality (VR) technology on its digital platform, and the soon-to-launch world’s first ‘biometric path’ offering customers a smooth and seamless airport journey at the airline’s hub in Dubai International Airport. With the strong penetration of mobile usage in Indonesia, we strive to ensure that our online offering on the website is competitive and up to speed with the technological advancements on online platforms. We also developed the Emirates app which offers the same Emirates Online functionality at the touch of a button. This enhances the customer experience and allows one to make new bookings and manage all aspects of existing bookings in easy to use steps. Sports enthusiasts can also watch live sports on all Boeing 777 aircraft and select A380 a the Onboard Lounge

What do you expect to deliver from the experience of business and first-class customers?

With all the services and experiences for First and Business Class passengers, we want our passengers to ‘Fly Better”. This brand promise enables us to deliver air travel experiences that are comfortable and enjoyable in every cabin class, time and again Business & First-Class passengers can relax in seats that convert to fully flat beds up to 79 inches (two meters) long, with mattress and cozy blanket for a restful sleep.

Is the environment an issue for your airline?

Yes, Emirates has committed to the continuous development of environmentally responsible work practices and eco-efficient operations from airline operations, cargo and ground handling businesses and a wide range of commercial activities on the ground.

Recently we announced a network-wide commitment to reduce single-use plastics on board. As of June 1st, eco-friendly paper straws have been introduced and all Emirates flights will soon be plastic straw-free. Plastic swizzle sticks and stirrers will also be replaced with eco-friendly alternatives by the end of 2019. Not only this, we have been working on various long-term sustainability initiatives.

From August, plastic bags used for Inflight Retail purchases will also be replaced with paper bags. These initiatives will remove an estimated 81.7 million single-use plastic items from landfills each year. In 2017, Emirates introduced ECOTHREAD blankets made from recycled plastic bottles for its Economy Class cabin. Each blanket is made from 28 recycled plastic bottles and by the end of 2019, Emirates would have saved 88 million plastic bottles from landfills from this initiative alone.

If you could change one thing about aviation in general, what would it be and why?

I would always choose to promote the open skies policy for the benefit it brings to the consumers as competition would thrive and product offerings improve bringing more options with competitive price points that would encourage air travel further. Another aspect that I feel would improve the customer experience and provide benefits to the industry, in general, would be to accelerate the automation of airports for better and easier passenger flow.