Disclaimer: This work was produced by one of our academic writers to help university students with their studies.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of UKEssays.com.

Emirates SWOT Analysis

Info: 1884 words (8 pages) SWOT Example
Published: 2nd Nov 2020

Reference this


Emirates' major strength is its location: from its central hub at Dubai airport, the vast majority of the world's population could be reached within a single flight, making the region an excellent transition point for long-haul travellers, which contributed to Emirates phenomenal growth since its foundation (Parker, 2013). Emirates has also built a globally recognisable powerful brand and has diversified into various related segments of the air travel industry (such as catering, maintenance, ground handling) that reduce the airline's dependence on third-party service providers (CAPA, 2015). Emirates has an extensive route network across six continents served by a continuously growing fleet of modern aircraft that offer many international passengers a high quality and convenient transportation solution (Emirates, 2017). Although Emirates does not receive any financial aid from the Dubai government, as the government controls the majority of the shares (Emiratesnbd.com, 2017), the airline may enjoy an increased bargaining power (and financial flexibility) when negotiating flying rights on international routes.


Recent commentaries published about Emirates' declining revenues may reveal some of the hidden weaknesses of the organisation. One presumed weakness is Emirates' overly ambitious and unsustainable future growth plan (shown by a large number of aircraft ordered) (Economist.com, 2017). Further to this, Emirates predominantly focused solely on the premium travel segment, which might be consistent with older generations' expectations, however, it is uncertain if and how Emirates could market itself to Millennials (without contradicting its brand values) with an insatiable demand for convenient (instead of luxurious) travel at an affordable rate (more on this is discussed under the 'threats' section).


Emirates' strategy to focus on the premium travel segment has proven to be a successful decision, however, changes in its business environment (increasing competition from low-cost long-haul airlines suitable for Millennial travellers' expectations) also create opportunities. Considering the fact that Emirates has never suffered a shortage of resources to grow, launching a subsidiary airline with a low-cost business model could be an opportunity worth exploring. In addition, Emirates could expand under its fifth freedom rights in Europe by connecting European cities with destinations currently underserved by local airlines (so in a sense, this would allow Emirates to establish smaller hubs outside Dubai and to deploy new aircraft) (ArabianBusiness.com, 2016). Emirates currently operates two flight pairs under this freedom (Athens-Newark and Milan-New York), however, exploring other route pairs to exploit fifth freedom rights could be a valuable opportunity to utilise a large amount of aircraft to be delivered to Emirates in the next five years.


Emirates has never enjoyed a favourable relationship with European and American airlines – these companies frequently accuse Emirates of receiving government subsidies (providing Emirates with an unfair competitive advantage) which are an illegal practice in the US and in the EU (Flightglobal.com, 2014). In case airlines' lobbying activities will be successful, Emirates may need to face restrictions on its European and North American routes. While the UAE is by no means an area frequented by extremist terrorist groups, Emirates serves many countries which have been identified as potential security concerns by the Trump administration (Alkhalisi, 2017). The new security procedures (i.e. the travel ban) implemented for the US bound flights so far had negative repercussions for Emirates, which forced the airline to reduce its flight frequency to the US (whether or not this was a political or a security measure is debated, yet the adverse effects are apparent for Emirates) (Alkhalisi, 2017). Finally, Emirates is increasingly threatened by the emergence of long-haul low-cost airlines (such as Norwegian Air, AirAsiaX or Wow Air), which will further increase competition on long-haul routes (Fehrm, 2016). So far, it is the Asian region where long-haul low-cost airlines are enjoying a rapid growth, however, European full-service airlines have been investigating the feasibility of launching a low-cost long-haul subsidiary to benefit from this high-potential market (Fehrm, 2016).

SWOT Analysis Resources

BusinessTeacher.org provide free business resources and online learning tools, perfect for helping students and professionals to develop their knowledge and gain a better understanding of different aspects of business. If you are looking for additional support and resources related to SWOT Analysis, please find more SWOT Analysis resources below:


  • Accenture (2016). Make Your Digital Connection: From Digital Strategy to Airline Strategy. [online] Available at: https://www.accenture.com/t20160524T005913__w__/us-en/_acnmedia/PDF-16/Accenture-Make-Your-Digital-Connection-From-Digital-Strategy-to-Airline-Strategy.pdf [Accessed 24 Jul. 2017].
  • Alkhalisi, Z. (2017). Emirates cuts flights to U.S. as Trump's policies hit bookings. [online] CNNMoney. Available at: http://money.cnn.com/2017/04/19/news/economy/emirates-us-flights-trump// [Accessed 24 Jul. 2017].
  • ArabianBusiness.com. (2016). Emirates mulls fifth freedom flights from Europe to Mexico, US. [online] Available at: http://www.arabianbusiness.com/emirates-mulls-fifth-freedom-flights-from-europe-mexico-us-631288.html [Accessed 24 Jul. 2017].
  • ATAG (2016). Facts & FIGURES - Air Transport Action Group (ATAG). [online] Atag.org. Available at: http://www.atag.org/facts-and-figures.html [Accessed 24 Jul. 2017].
  • CAPA (2015). Emirates Airline turns 30: Just as it has changed the world, now Emirates faces its own changes. [online] Available at: https://centreforaviation.com/insights/analysis/emirates-airline-turns-30-just-as-it-has-changed-the-world-now-emirates-faces-its-own-changes-245140 [Accessed 24 Jul. 2017].
  • Cederholm, T. (2014). Why social and demographic factors influence air travel demand - Market Realist. [online] Marketrealist.com. Available at: http://marketrealist.com/2014/09/why-social-and-demographic-factors-influence-air-travel-demand/ [Accessed 24 Jul. 2017].
  • Dudley, D. (2016). Is The Emirates Airline Growth Story At An End?. [online] Forbes.com. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/dominicdudley/2016/11/11/is-the-emirates-airline-growth-story-at-an-end/#71fb9ff966d6 [Accessed 24 Jul. 2017].
  • Economist.com. (2017). The Middle East's once fast-expanding airlines are coming under pressure. [online] Available at: https://www.economist.com/blogs/gulliver/2017/03/narrowing-gulf [Accessed 24 Jul. 2017].
  • Emirates. (2017). All Emirates flight routes | Destinations | Emirates. [online] Available at: https://www.emirates.com/english/destinations_offers/route_maps/route_map.aspx [Accessed 24 Jul. 2017].
  • Emiratesnbd.com. (2017). Ownership Statistics, Shareholder Information, Investor Relations | Emirates NBD Bank. [online] Available at: http://www.emiratesnbd.com/en/investor-relations/shareholder-information/ownership-statistics/ [Accessed 24 Jul. 2017].
  • Fehrm, B. (2016). Emirates feels low-cost, long-haul competition - Leeham News and Comment. [online] Leeham News and Comment. Available at: https://leehamnews.com/2016/11/23/emirates-feels-low-cost-long-haul-competition/ [Accessed 24 Jul. 2017].
  • Flightglobal.com. (2014). Gulf airlines attack European protectionism. [online] Available at: https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/gulf-airlines-attack-european-protectionism-406308/ [Accessed 24 Jul. 2017].
  • Flottau, J. (2015). Protectionism Won't Work Against New Competition. [online] Aviationweek.com. Available at: http://aviationweek.com/commercial-aviation/protectionism-won-t-work-against-new-competition [Accessed 24 Jul. 2017].
  • Forbes. (2016). What Are The Factors Behind Soaring Air Travel Growth?. [online] Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2016/08/30/what-are-the-factors-behind-soaring-air-travel-growth/#39912672258d [Accessed 24 Jul. 2017].
  • IATA (2014). The Rise of the Middle Class | Airlines International. [online] Available at: http://airlines.iata.org/thought-leadership/sponsored-content-the-rise-of-the-middle-class [Accessed 24 Jul. 2017].
  • Kamel, M. (2017). Emirates Profit Down 70% on Oil-Hit Economies, Terror Impact. [online] Bloomberg.com. Available at: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-05-11/emirates-profit-tumbles-70-on-low-oil-prices-terror-concerns [Accessed 24 Jul. 2017].
  • Malek, C. (2016). Leaders chart new strategic roadmap for the UAE after oil. [online] The National. Available at: https://www.thenational.ae/uae/leaders-chart-new-strategic-roadmap-for-the-uae-after-oil-1.193589 [Accessed 24 Jul. 2017].
  • Parasie, N. (2016). Emirates profit falls 75% on stronger dollar. [online] MarketWatch. Available at: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/emirates-profit-falls-75-on-stronger-dollar-2016-11-09 [Accessed 24 Jul. 2017].
  • Parker, A. (2013). Emirates: In a sweet spot. [online] Ft.com. Available at: https://www.ft.com/content/c274e63e-580c-11e3-82fc-00144feabdc0 [Accessed 24 Jul. 2017].
  • Phys.org. (2017). Designing the fuel-efficient aircraft of the future. [online] Available at: https://phys.org/news/2017-03-fuel-efficient-aircraft-future.html [Accessed 24 Jul. 2017].
  • Reuters UK. (2014). Emirates says airlines impacted by external threats such as Ebola. [online] Available at: http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-emirates-airlines-results-idUKKCN0IW11K20141112 [Accessed 24 Jul. 2017].
  • Reuters. (2016). Air travel demand slows as airlines confront security, fragile economies. [online] Available at: http://www.reuters.com/article/airlines-iata-idUSL8N18R23U [Accessed 24 Jul. 2017].
  • Reuters. (2017). Laptop ban, protectionism hang over booming air travel industry. [online] Available at: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-airlines-iata-idUSKBN18T14I [Accessed 24 Jul. 2017].
  • The Washington Times. (2017). Emirates cuts US flights, blames Trump travel ban. [online] Available at: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/apr/19/emirates-cuts-us-flights-blames-trump-travel-ban/ [Accessed 24 Jul. 2017].
  • Upham, D. (2015). 4 ways climate change could ground the airline industry. [online] GreenBiz. Available at: https://www.greenbiz.com/article/4-ways-climate-change-could-ground-airline-industry [Accessed 24 Jul. 2017].

Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below:

Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.

Related Services

View all