Emirates passenger numbers grew 9% in 2015
Airline chief Sir Tim Clarke buoyed with Emirate's growth, despite several detrimental factors in the industry
Emirates said on Wednesday that it has carried over 51.3 million passengers during 2015, a 9% rise compared to the 2014.
The Dubai-based carrier said in a statement that it operated around 3,600 flights on average per week, or over 186,000 flights in 2015, travelling more than 824 million kilometres around the globe, which is the distance equivalent of more than 1,000 trips to the moon and back.
Hotelier’s sister publication Arabian Business reported that the airline also claimed to have served over 57 million meals on its flights departing Dubai, and handled over 35 million pieces of baggage in Dubai alone.
Sir Tim Clark, president, Emirates Airline said: “2015 has been one of considerable growth for Emirates as we continued to steer our course despite the headwinds of regional conflict, unfavourable currency impact, and shaky business and consumer confidence in many global markets.
"Emirates has come out strong, as our mindset, combined with our fleet and network strategy has enabled us to absorb shocks and maximise opportunities.
"Through our 30 years of operation to date, Emirates has always stayed focussed on its core strategies: an efficient fleet and operations that capitalise on Dubai’s strategic location and infrastructure; an excellent product and service proposition for our customers; and recruiting and retaining the best talent from around the world.
"We will continue to build on these strengths, even as we drive ourselves to achieve new goals and set new standards for ourselves and the industry.”
Emirates added 26 new aircraft to its fleet in 2015, comprising 15 A380s, 10 Boeing 777-300ERs and 1 Boeing 777 Freighter, rounding off the year with 246 aircraft in service.
The airline also said it expanded its network to 150 destinations in 2015, with the addition of six new passenger destinations - Bali, Multan, Orlando, Mashhad, Bologna and Sabiha Gokcen in Istanbul, plus three cargo-only destinations in Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), Columbus (US) and Ciudad del Este (Paraguay).
In 2015, Emirates also expanded the number of cities served by its flagship A380 aircraft to 36.
In the statement, Emirates added that more than four million passengers connected to Wi-Fi on board, reflecting the strong consumer demand for connectivity services while travelling.
On the ground, Emirates expanded its lounge network with the opening of new facilities in Tokyo Narita and Los Angeles International airports, taking the total number of dedicated Emirates Lounges globally to 38.