EMIRATES FIGHTS FOR EAST AFRICAN MARKETS SHARE
After putting flights from Dubai to Entebbe on a nonstop schedule at the end of March, a move which was widely welcomed amongst travelers from Uganda who are now spared the unnecessary stopover in Addis Ababa long critizised but only taken seriously by the airline after the impact of Qatar Airways arrival in November showed the true impact of passenger migration Emirates has now announced further innovations to its inflight product.
An announcement was just made by the airline that starting immediately the growing fleet of A380 aircraft, followed by the entire B777 fleet, will begin to receive a new graphical user interface developed by Panasonic. Emirates President Tim Clark was quoted in a media release as having said: Emirates has been tracking the commercial progress of GUIs, where an ever-expanding array of choices are available to consumers, and we wanted to bring the same experience, look, and feel available on smart phones and tablets to our loyal customers in an aircraft environment while the airlines East Africa Regional Manager Essa Sulaiman added in a communication shared with this correspondent: Emirates has always been committed to continuous innovation of our ice systems and to providing our passengers with a unique and memorable onboard experience. Subsequently, over the past 24 months working with our partner, Panasonic, Emirates has succeeded in creating a smart and simplified interface which will appeal to customers of all ages.
Emirates, it is understood from a usually well informed source, will roll-out a number of additional inflight product enhancements across the next few months as part of a multi-million dollar investment in onboard technology. Larger video screens, in all classes, will come into operation from May on new Boeing 777 aircraft, in addition to future Airbus A380 deliveries. An enhanced in-seat telephone handset and new Mode Controller in First Class and Business Class will also be introduced, ensuring a more seamless customer experience.
Meanwhile have the Emirates sales teams also began to hit home with offering special features like stopovers in Dubai and their baggage allowance for passengers in economy class, which for special promotions like the Dubai Shopping Festival are upped even more. Said a source from Kampala when attention was drawn to a mini debate on Twitter over the impact of baggage allowances for travelers making their decisions: We are not the ones making such decisions but we report back to our regional office with our observations. We think our baggage allowance is fair but we know some other airlines give a little extra. But we got one up on a close competitor here in Uganda also flying to the Gulf because they still apply the general Y-class limit of 23 KG. Here it is our advantage to fly a wide body to Entebbe and we can be a bit more flexible for outbound passengers. True, baggage allowance is a factor for travelers deciding on which airline to use but we offer the biggest choice of destinations for passengers from Uganda travelling with us via the Gulf, the biggest network, the most modern fleet and so many other specials no other airline can match.
Now that is what competition is all about, getting the very best deals for passengers making travel decisions and convincing them with such facts as safety, punctuality, inflight service, loyalty programmes and special deals. Watch this space.