No stopping Emirates from flying high

No stopping Emirates from flying high

Tim Clark has lost count of the number of bricks rivals have hurled at him.

The onslaught does not shake him but "it irritates me", admits the man who heads one of the world's fastest-growing global airlines.

As president of Dubai's home carrier Emirates Airline, he stands accused of everything from benefiting unfairly from subsidised oil and airport services, to flooding the market with cheap seats to undercut rivals.

Competitors need to look only at Emirates' record of achievements to have reason to worry.

In under three decades, it has grown a fleet of 201 aircraft, with another 193 ordered. An average of two new aircraft will join the fleet every month over the next five years.

Emirates is the world's largest operator of the Airbus 380 - the biggest passenger jet - with 35 of the giants in service, and 55 on order. Singapore Airlines, to compare, has 19 A-380s and five more coming.

In a May ranking of the world's biggest international airlines by total number of seats and distance flown in a week, Emirates topped the list compiled by Sydney-based consultancy, the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation.

The airline clocked more than five billion available-seat kilometres, a measure of total capacity derived from the number of seats offered multiplied by distance flown.

United Airlines was second with more than 3.7 billion km flown and Lufthansa third with 3.5 billion km. At No. 9, SIA topped the Asian list with 2.3 billion km, followed closely by Cathay Pacific.

Emirates' growth comes on the back of beefing up capacity in existing markets and aggressively launching new routes. Last year, it started 15 new routes, and started at least another seven so far this year.

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