It is interesting CAPA penned such an analysis on Emirates, unthinkable going back couple of years. CAPA grew up on Emirates. They even had a guy on Twitter drooling over every move they made.
I have come to realise and understand that you do not like EK and the ME3 in general.
However, if they make a good business/commercial decision then credit should be given where it is due.
I am against bias in any direction and I am for good, sound decisions being made irrespective of who makes said decision.
EK took many huge risks based on thorough research and came out on top for the most part.
EK also took many huge risks that did not translate to success. Some of these decisions could have been ego driven or heavily misguided.
Either way, they have succeeded and they have failed in the time they have existed so far.
Emirates at its core is a PR company with airline ops as trivial non-core. Management thinks they can achieve anything thru PR and marketing.
If you pay enough money (or give freebies) to aviation analysts/rating agencies/bloggers/image management companies/travel agents/media reporters, they will continue to write good things, irrespective of what management does and where airline is headed. Later they can always claim "we didn't see this coming".
Strategic missteps they took will cause irreparable damage. The only hope was Mueller, he was pushed out or left knowing it is too difficult to fix.
My rub, Boeing subscribed to these fantasies and going to cause major issues to US aviation industry.
In this day and age you cannot blame any company for having PR at it's core and as one of it's biggest expenses.
Branding and image is more important to most people than quality or value for money.
Look at Apple and Samsung who manage to be the biggest mobile phone makers despite the fact that their devices are more likely to bend out of shape and/or catch fire than the more modest competition whose devices don't suffer these problems.
Why? PR, branding, image...
EK might have 10-abreast Y aboard their 777s and subpar J compared to many competitors but they also focus on the whole travel/flying experience.
Their IFE and dining is above most of the competition and the options they offer in their network are almost second to none.
Most of what they have done has worked, so far...
I agree they have taken a few missteps that will affect them tremendously in future and will affect Airbus and Boeing as well.
EK over bought aircraft. Not just that but they over bought aircraft that are too big and expensive. They have very little flexibility in their fleet. For an airline that tries to keep frequencies to a minimum of 7-weekly, having your two aircraft options be 350/420 seats or 520/650 seats must be a planning and revenue nightmare.
I do trust, however, that they will adjust and restructure themselves into something more efficient and sensible. This slight fall from grace was just caused by a very costly mistake to make but it will be a good lesson to learn.
EY is more willing to understand their limits and reign themselves in as far as I can see.
The one to be even more worried about is QR. They are blindly expanding like rabbits in heat (LOL) and don't have any of the commercial advantages that EK had. They will also reach a peak and the tumble down on the other side will be even worse than what EK is experiencing.
Boeing may suffer quite a bit with EK and the 777X. The programme will not be doomed if EK reduces commitments but 100 is always better that 50.
Same with Airbus and the A380. The biggest problem with the A380 programme, though, is it's almost total reliance on EK going forward. Boeing still has a number of other airlines to fall back on for the 777X but EK will leave Airbus with a 747-8 problem once they realise that they have bought a hundred too many whales.
About the PR part again, PR is the tool that puts bums in seats for the airline ops which is the focus of Emirates AIRLINE. To assume that airline ops are trivial and PR more important is naive. What do they spend more money on every year? Ad campaigns or aircraft leasing, maintenance and crew?
Also, what proof do you have that people or organisations who can be critical of the airline are being paid off or given freebies? If there is undisputed, undeniable proof for this then EK is a despicable company that does not deserve my or anyone else's hard-earned money. If not, then...
I am grateful for airlines like EK. I may not agree with all the decisions they take but they have led to airlines like Ethiopian Airlines trying very hard to undercut them. When you live in Africa, like me, you can really appreciate something like that.
You probably don't agree with anything I have said but that's cool...
Never be proud. Always be grateful.