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Emirates SWOT – a SWOT analysis of Emirates airline

Emirates SWOT – a SWOT analysis of Emirates airline

This article ‘Emirates SWOT – a SWOT analysis of Emirates airline’ aims to explore the airline’s strengths, and weakness. It also aims to explore some of the opportunities for the company which it should pay attention to, and the threats it should build resilient shields against.

Emirates airline began its journey in 1985 with just two aircraft (Emirates, 2021). However, it grew enormously over the years, and it now has the world’s biggest fleets of Airbus A380s and Boeing 777s. It is a globally renowned and influential airline with Dubai being its hub. However, it has some limitations as well.

Strengths of Emirates

Emirates currently flies to over 161 destinations in more than 85 countries around the world. It has more than 269 aircraft and flies to destinations in six continents with constant pursuit of further expansion (Informa Markets, 2021). This immense span of operations is certainly a great strength for the airline.

Dubai is one of the leading tourist destinations in the world and the hub of Emirates. The image of the city has been reflected in the airline resulting in a highly positive brand image. Exceptional customer services and amenities have also played a big role in the brand recognition.  Emirates was named the World’s Best Airline and received 12th consecutive award for best In-flight entertainment at Skytrax World Airline Awards 2016 (Emirates, 2021).

The entertainment provision of Emirates is excellent. It offers customers over 4500 channels of movies, TV shows, games, and music in multiple languages.  It has excellent dining services as well. Delicious food, larger servings, and friendly attendants make the whole experience very enjoyable.

Emirates has an impressive portfolio of sponsorships with some of the most famous football clubs in the world e.g. AC Milan, Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and Arsenal (Emirates, 2021). The sponsorship deal with English football club Arsenal provided it with an excellent opportunity of naming a stadium as Emirates Stadium. The airline has also made a deal with the Asian Football Confederation. These deals show how hungry and committed Emirates is for expansion and visibility around the world.

Emirates employ people from every continent in the world. The workforce consists of over 160 nationalities who speak over 60 languages. This diversity coupled with superb talent makes the airline a global organisation. The airline invests heavily in training and offers a competitive reward package for its employees.

Weaknesses of Emirates

Emirates witnessed a sloth in demand in the last several years in the USA after years of growth. It announced that it would slash capacity on its routes from Dubai to Boston, Los Angeles, Seattle, Fort Lauderdale, and Orlando (Levine-Weinberg, 2017).

Some airlines have accused Emirates of receiving government subsidies.  Another allegation is that the airline does not pay due taxes. While Emirates has refuted these allegations, they leave a negative mark in the minds of many people. Likewise, the airline has experienced several incidents in the past which also affects its brand image.

Opportunities for Emirates

Exploring opportunities is an important area of discussion in ‘Emirates SWOT – A SWOT analysis of Emirates airline’. Though Emirates serves more than 161 destinations, it can still pursue further international expansion strategy. Once the US market bounces back, it should expand in the USA by resuming double daily flights from some larger U.S. cities, or by connecting new markets to Dubai. Likewise, as the demand for convenient and affordable travelling is on the rise, the idea of introducing a subsidiary budget airline could be an opportunity worth exploring.

Threats to Emirates

Competitors are the major threat to Emirates airline. Emergence and performance of airlines such as Etihad, Qatar Airways, and Turkish Airlines are note-worthy in this regard. These airlines are expanding rapidly posing a threat to Emirates.

Any decline in tourism to Dubai can also be a threat to Emirates as Dubai is its hub. Likewise, diplomatic, political, or economic turmoil may also slowdown the business of the airline. However, these macro-environmental factors are not unique to Emirates only. They can impact on any business regardless of their identities.

The airline announced a $5.5 billion annual loss in June 2021 (France24, 2021). It is its first loss in more than three decades which was caused by the global lockdowns. This shows that macro environmental challenges can badly impact on the airline anytime without advanced warnings.

America’s three major domestic airlines — American, Delta, and United have been campaigning for restrictions on the routes and destinations foreign carriers e.g. Emirates, Etihad, and Qatar can fly into the US. This is also a threat for Emirates particularly for its American market.

To conclude, the above ‘Emirates SWOT – a SWOT analysis of Emirates airline’ demonstrates that the airline has several strengths as well as weaknesses. Likewise, there are some good opportunities out there for it to explore. However, let us not forget that it also faces some threats from different sources.

We hope the article ‘Emirates SWOT – a SWOT analysis of Emirates airline’ has been useful. You may also like reading Marketing mix of Emirates airline and SWOT analysis of Etihad Airways.

Other relevant articles you may be interested in are:

PESTEL analysis of the United Arab Emirates (UAE)

SWOT analysis of British Airways

SWOT analysis of easyJet

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Last update: 30 August 2021


Emirates (2021) About Emirates, available at (Accessed 30 August 2021)

France24 (2021) Emirates airline posts first annual loss in over 30 years, available at: (accessed 30 August 2021)

Informa Markets (2021) Emirates: about the airline, available at: (accessed 29 August 2021)

Author: M Rahman

M Rahman writes extensively online and offline with an emphasis on business management, marketing, and tourism. He is a lecturer in Management and Marketing. He holds an MSc in Tourism & Hospitality from the University of Sunderland. Also, graduated from Leeds Metropolitan University with a BA in Business & Management Studies and completed a DTLLS (Diploma in Teaching in the Life-Long Learning Sector) from London South Bank University.

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