Emirates Airline is the largest non-European carrier in the UK market with a presence that spreads from London in the south of England, via Birmingham, Manchester and Newcastle in the north of England, to Edinburgh and Glasgow in Scotland. In the London market its activity spreads to ten daily rotations spread across Gatwick, Heathrow and from this time last year also Stansted airport to the north of the UK capital.
While Stansted has it own distinct catchment and one that is growing with businesses within the technology and pharmaceutical sectors, it has previously struggled to maintain medium- and long-haul operations with a network dominated by LCCs and in particular Ryanair which holds over two thirds of its system seat capacity.
Emirates’ Dec-2017 announcement that it was to launch a daily Dubai – London Stansted from Jun-2018 was a logical move that was initially met with surprise. A subsequent announcement in Mar-2019 that a second daily frequency will be introduced from 01-Jul-2019 (bringing its London flights to 11 a day) highlights just how successful that decision-making was.
The UAE carrier is very careful when it comes to network planning, but even it must be surprised at the market’s response to the new London destination. Speaking to The Blue Swan Daily on the sidelines of the CAPA – Centre for Aviation Middle East & Africa Aviation Summit at the end of Apr-2019, Ken O’Toole, CEO, London Stansted airport revealed that internal analysis suggested that the route was the second fastest ever to grow from a daily to second daily schedule across the Emirates network after Beijing.
We caught up with London Stansted’s chief commercial officer Aboudy Nasser to discuss why the route has proved successful and if it had now proven that the Essex airport can sustain medium- and long-haul routes. As he mentions, “London Stansted has changed a lot” over the past decade as the management mindset has changed to partner with airlines through the whole customer experience process. The London airport is currently working on a new flight connection model and successfully conducted a full end-to-end test of the service in Apr-2019, ahead of its formal launch.
HEAR MORE… London Stansted Airport CCO Aboudy Nasser explains why the Emirates Airline Dubai – London Stansted route has proved successful and sees the London airport become the second fastest global destination airport to secure a second daily Emirates frequency from Dubai in this exclusive CAPA TV interview recorded at the CAPA Middle East & Africa Aviation Summit in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE) in late Apr-2019.