Innovation Consultancy Service Limited
Innovation Audit Report on Emirates Airlines in UAE
Innovation Consultancy Services Limited has entered into a contract with United Arab Emirates Company, Emirates Airline to conduct an audit on the innovation efforts that have been made in the company to help in the growth of its business. The consultancy services offered in the contract involve a comprehensive audit to assess where the airline’s innovation efforts have been over the years and where they are today. The audit therefore involves examining the different business processes and functions in areas, such as marketing, branding, corporate social responsibility, recruiting the customers’ experiences through appropriate innovations in a number of products offered and general operations of the airline. It also examines the impact of these innovations to the success of the company and what is required of the airline in the future so as to ensure it is continuously innovative.
Emirates Airlines, a company in the United Arab Emirates, is ranked top among other airlines globally, and it is also considered among the best top three Persian Gulf carriers in business (O’Connell 340). The key to success of the airline is among other factors the strategic innovations that have been incorporated in the management and running of the airline business activities. These innovations have resulted from its management style that has cultivated a corporate culture of innovation and a spirit of pioneering among its employees. The airline’s entire group of staffs has been encouraged by this culture to take calculated risks without being afraid, which helps in developing an innovative attitude among all employees and ensuring the airline is highly innovative (Nataraja and Abdulrahman 476).
In its strategy to build the brand Emirate, the airline has over the years come up with innovations that have seen its brand continue growing to become one of the best airlines not only in UAE but also in the world. Social media has been one of the platforms used as an innovative way to continue engaging with their customers and other target groups. The social media engagements have been utilized to enhance and protect the airline’s reputation, and strengthen existing relationships by encouraging groups of people to become Emirates’ fans (Nataraja and Abdulrahman, 479). To promote the airline as a global lifestyle brand, it has come up with a global brand platform and source of direction named “Hello Tomorrow”, which is being utilized as an inspiration at present for people to see and relate with the unlimited potential that is there tomorrow. This is one way the airline uses to also give their consumers a chance to communicate their ideas; it has been an innovative way to create a more open line of communication with their customers such that the airline can understand their aspirations, dreams, hopes as well as enable then to embrace the future’s unlimited possibilities. This kind of innovation has ensured Emirate meets the demands of consumers to be engaged in brand empowerment, which enhances the entire operations of the airline.
Emirates airline has an environmental sustainability program whose main focus is on efficiency of fuel. This has been an innovative way for the company to remain active in corporate responsibility through these particular efforts that help in achievement of a sustainable future (O’Connell 96). The airline works with manufacturers to create more fuel efficient planes that are lighter like the Airbus 380 and Boeing 777as well as engines that are greener. It has also been able to develop systems that reduce flight times by having larger aircrafts meaning there will be lesser take offs and landings. The airline has established measures that make sure emissions from ground operations are reduced. This has been possible through decreasing the use of diesel and petrol used in their over 4,400 vehicles used as staff buses as well as trucks or tow tractors among others. The innovations introduced to increase the ground transport efficiency include a trial of baggage tractors and an optimization program for crew transport. They have also opened a new Metro station and introduced a project that gives priority for car sharers to access parking first (Nataraja and Abdulrahman 481). All these innovations introduced to enhance sustainability are part of their corporate social responsibility that goes a long way in improving the livelihoods of people around the world and hence promote its public image and the success of its business.
The human resource department has also played a key role in making sure that employees hired have the necessary skills required specifically in areas of information technology. It also has strategic job posts that are well aligned with introduction of innovations such as the innovation lab manager (O’Connell, 100). The job description for this post includes the planning, development and management of the overall innovation lab including relationships with suppliers like Microsoft, and owners of businesses. It also entails aligning the concepts in innovations and emerging technologies with business owners as well as facilitation and management of end to end ideas or processes in innovation. For candidates to qualify for this post, the human resource department lists the various qualifications required in advertisements such as adequate innovation background, and knowledge in innovative practices that is extensive. To handle such critical innovation department, the airline also requires potential candidates to possess information technology experience that spans for a number of years like eight plus years and experience in managing of a large scale innovation department (Nataraja and Abdulrahman 484). These efforts displayed by the human resources management when recruiting their key staff in innovation areas show how committed the airline is in issues to do with innovation. Emirates management is even a step ahead since it has a department largely mandated to take care of different innovation aspects of the airline.
Emirates airline has over the years introduced a wide range of innovations that enhance the experience of their passengers during their travels. These include the in-flight product innovations that have been rolled out over the years and which continue to be added new innovations as technology advances. From the year 1992, introduction of seatback video screens, the airline has continued to invest more on products that enhance onboard experiences ranging from the new IFE technology to a variety of available entertainment content sourced globally. In December 2011, Emirates invested in yet a new experience where they introduced Wi-Fi connectivity to their A380 fleet (O’Connell 342).
This has since been improved to ensure Wi-Fi has been installed in more of their aircrafts as well as ensuring all the new A380s delivered to the airline are fully installed with Wi-Fi, mobile phone and data services. All seats are usually equipped with a seatback telephone and text messages or email services including the AeroMobile system a 90 aircraft feature that allows passengers to make use of their phones while in-flight. To continue with these improvements, in 2012 the Airline introduced a new Graphical User Interface (GUI) that is more enhanced and designed in a manner that could make it easy to access the in-flight entertainment system. It was meant to make the ice Digital Widescreen information simpler to use for communication and entertainment. The new GUI had the capabilities of offering new ice experiences that include passengers’ capability to finds out more full entertainment systems through swiping or scrolling the emirates available huge library of media and entertainment. Passengers could now be able to explore moving maps, watch in-flight landscape cameras and Airshow as well as be able to access news from BBC in form of live texts. The interface was introduced in all its aircrafts within a time period that did not exceeding one and a half years to all classes of their service (O’Connell 345).
To make these improvements, the airline’s responsibility has been to keep track of the commercial progress of GUI’s and other emerging technologies. The ever-expanding variety of choices that are available makes it possible for the airlines to select the best choices for their consumers to make their experiences worthwhile in an aircraft environment. The airline has worked with other partners such as Panasonic to come up with smart and simplified interface that appeal to consumers in any age bracket (Squalli 140). Other additional in-flight products that have consumed multi-million dollar investments have been made on onboard technology, these include larger video screens availed to all classes. There are enhanced in seat telephone handsets as well as introduction of new Mode Controller in both First Class and Business Class (Squalli 142).
Other characteristics of the in-flight products that reflect the spirit of innovation in Emirates include the on board spa concept, on board showers. Emirates prides itself in being the first to offer these services including being the first airline to install private suits that are first class and the first to fly ultra long haul Airbus A340-500 (Squalli 142). All these efforts in continuous innovation are aimed at providing unique and onboard experiences that are memorable. This ensures Emirates remains competitive in the industry and has been able to gain a huge following of customers who are loyal to them.
The audit process that involves evaluation of a series of business operations and functions carried out by Emirates airlines brings out the various aspects of innovations that have been introduced. This means that the airline has made adequate efforts to incorporate innovations in most of its strategies. The management has contributed a lot by ensuring the right culture exists to support innovations, a lot of their processes also embrace innovation such as marketing and recruiting processes as well as corporate social responsibility function that has relied on new efforts introduced towards a more sustainable environment. To enhance their customers’ experience, the airline has a wide array of in-flight additional services and products that have been innovatively introduced with emergence of new technologies to ensure a lasting impression on their customers. All these innovations play a key role of ensuring Emirates keeps on reinventing itself through well thought out strategies that has seen the rapid growth of the airline to become among the best in the world. However, there is still room for more innovations in the future of the airline. This is because the industry is highly competitive and customers require quality and affordable services and therefore the airline has to go on improving their quality through innovations, which will also ensure it offers affordable services. The ever-growing technologies also require the airline to continue investing in the emerging technologies so that it will continue coming up with new innovations for the purpose of its future growth. Presently, the airline has made sufficient efforts in innovating ideas and new concepts in its business.
Nataraja, Sundaram, and Abdulrahman Al-Aali. “The exceptional performance strategies of Emirate Airlines.” Competitiveness Review: An International Business Journal 21.5 (2011): 471-486.
O’Connell, John F. “The rise of the Arabian Gulf carriers: An insight into the business model of Emirates Airline.” Journal of Air Transport Management 17.6 (2011): 339-346.
O’Connell, John F. “The changing dynamics of the Arab Gulf based airlines and an investigation into the strategies that are making Emirates into a global challenger.” World Review of Intermodal Transportation Research 1.1 (2006): 94-114.
Squalli, Jay. “Airline passenger traffic openness and the performance of Emirates Airline.” The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance 54.1 (2014): 138-145.