The Cyprus tourist market has been negatively affected by recent socio-political developments. How would you evaluate its current state?
Firstly, I am delighted to be back as the country manager for Emirates in Cyprus, as I consider Cyprus the “Jewel of the Mediterranean” and aim to strengthen this relationship through continuous growth. Cyprus is one of Emirates’ key global markets, with over 25 years of relations and flights connecting Larnaca and Malta to Dubai and the world. As travel restrictions ease and the demand for travel increases, we’ve also witnessed a healthy load on flights to Cyprus, and from the market to Dubai and beyond to the airline’s global network. As the world’s largest international airline, we are optimistic for the future of travel and aviation and will continue to respond to the dynamic industry with agility. In April this year, Emirates announced ramping up its global operations by restarting passenger service to Bali, London Stansted, Rio de Janeiro and Buenos Aires. The airline had also announced boosting services to Nigeria, Mauritius and Singapore to serve market demand.
What new services and products is Emirates offering to customers?
Last month, we unveiled our full highly sought-after Premium Economy Experience at the Arabian Travel Market. Cypriot passengers looking to experience Emirates’ newest product can book Premium Economy seats if they’re connecting to Sydney, London Heathrow, Paris or Christchurch through Dubai. The new cabin class offers luxurious seats, more legroom, and a service to rival many airline business offerings. We currently have six A380s equipped with this cabin class, and by the end of our retrofit programme, which starts this November, we will have 120 A380 and Boeing 777 aircraft fitted with the Premium Economy Cabin. Against the backdrop of the Arabian Travel Market, Emirates also introduced its new hospitality strategy, one of the biggest people, process and product initiatives ever implemented at the airline, touching all frontline customer-facing teams as well as supporting departments. The programme aims to drive consistency across all touchpoints and provide a framework for teams to deliver signature moments that evoke emotions and create positive memories and feelings for Emirates’ customers. On the technological front, Emirates had signed an MOU with the tech giant Huawei, that enhances their existing strategic partnership and expands the user base of the Emirates app by making it available in Huawei’s AppGallery.
Will Emirates be travelling to more destinations from Cyprus in the coming months?
There’s a strong partnership between UAE and Cyprus. Emirates facilitates this partnership with its five weekly flights connecting Larnaca and Malta with Dubai and beyond. Emirates is constantly improving its services to appeal to the ever-changing industry, curated for the modern traveller’s needs and we are looking to expand our partnership with Cyprus and continue to grow the services we offer both to passengers and in terms of cargo. With Emirates, Cyprus is connected to more than 130 destinations in the world through our award-winning Airport in Dubai. Should there be a demand to operate to additional points, we’ll do so in accordance with the Cypriot authorities.
Recently, Emirates scored top marks on the ‘Global RepTrak® 100’. What does it mean for the company and how do the travellers benefit from this?
We are extremely proud to have been ranked among the top 100 most reputable organisations in the world by Global RepTrak® 100. Emirates is the only company from the Middle East and North Africa region to make it onto the list. Our airline is well-known for its signature products and services, offering an incredible travel experience in the air and on ground across all travel classes. During the pandemic, at Emirates, we led the industry on many initiatives to rebuild travel confidence and support the recovery of the travel and tourism industry. Our airline also supported communities and economies with the transport of vaccines, medicines and essential trading goods. This recognition further boosts the confidence our customers have in our products and services, and it allows our efforts to be seen and celebrated.