Emirates becomes world’s third-largest carrier


Dubai – Emirates has become the world’s third-largest carrier by capacity for two consecutive months this year, beating United Airlines, according to a report by the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (Capa), a leading producer of airline, airport and aviation reports and analysis.

The Dubai carrier was ranked third among the world’s top 25 airlines in monthly capacity (ASK-available seat kilometres) in March and reclaimed its position in April following Delta Air Lines in first place and American Airlines in second.

Even though the United-Continental combination would be the world’s biggest, ahead of Delta by some 10 per cent, Emirates, according to the CAPA analysis, continues to expand capacity aggressively.

The carrier is set to fly 3.85 billion seat kilometres this month, up 9.4 per cent year-on-year, while United’s capacity is moving into the negative (-2.8 per cent) to 3.66 billion ASKs, according to the latest data sourced from schedules provider Innovata.

Delta’s capacity, meanwhile, is likely to hit 6.24 billion ASKs in April, a 5.3 per cent change over the same period last year, followed by American Airlines’ 4.90 billion ASKs, a 2.3 per cent increase year-on-year, according to the report.

Commenting on this feat, an Emirates spokesperson said ongoing aircraft deliveries are helping to increase the capacity levels for the carrier.

“In line with ongoing aircraft deliveries our overall capacity continues to grow, making us one of the world’s largest airlines by available seat kilometres.

“Since the beginning we have focused on one key measure — ensuring that our customers’ experience is the best in the sky. After all, it is not the number of aircraft in your fleet that makes an airline successful, but the repeat business stemming from a satisfied customer,” the spokesperson told Gulf News.

Last month Emirates produced 16.91 billion ASKs, a 9.9 per cent increase over the same month a year earlier.

Boosting capacity further is Emirates’ plan to expand its fleet of 152 aircraft, including 15 Airbus A380s, with 200 more jets on order over the next eight years.

According to a recent research report by Royal Bank of Scotland, Emirates will be operating approximately 249 aircraft by 2020 and will have expanded the network to about 146 destinations based on the assumption that all 90 A380s will be in operation by this time, in addition to 70 A350s and 67 Boeing 777s.