In 2020, Dubai expects to welcome 20 million tourists and generate AED300 billion in annual tourism revenue. Emirates airline will play a big role in supporting this goal, and so will dnata, our home-grown air services provider which has transformed from modest beginnings into a global player.
Today, Emirates airline connects over 145 cities to Dubai and to each other, facilitating trade and tourism flows across six continents; while dnata provides ground handling, catering, cargo and travel services not only in Dubai, but across 90 cities, in 38 countries on five continents.
Dubai is investing in infrastructure to meet the city’s future growth, and so is the Emirates Group. By 2020, Emirates expects to carry 70 million passengers per year on over 300 aircraft, and we are developing our workforce, and building cutting-edge facilities to support operations of this scale. We will also continue to strengthen our global footprint, so that we can serve and connect even more cities across the world.
For us, growth is not only about the numbers. We are here for the long haul, and we are conscious that with the scale of what we do, we can make a difference to economies, communities, and the environment. We consciously strive to improve our economic, environmental and social impact in a meaningful way.
In this regard, one of our key focus areas has always been the management of resource consumption. Reducing unnecessary consumption not only reduces environmental impact, but also has a direct benefit on our bottom line. Fuel efficiency is, as always, central to our business.
Emirates already operates one of the youngest and most efficient aircraft fleets in the sky. In the past year, we received 24 new passenger and freighter aircraft comprising Airbus A380s and Boeing 777s. Representing the very latest in commercial aircraft technology, these new aircraft continue to help us improve the overall fuel efficiency and noise profile of our fleet.
In November 2013, we made a massive investment in the latest, most environmentally efficient aircraft technology with an order for 150 next-generation Boeing 777Xs. When delivered from 2020 onwards, these 777Xs will help us to achieve the next level in fuel efficiency.
At Emirates, we have an ongoing focus to operate our aircraft in the most efficient, responsible way possible. In addition to our own operational efficiency efforts, our partnerships with air navigation service providers have also been key to implementing fuel- and time-saving routes.
On the ground, Group companies and business units work to recycle various materials, minimise water and paper consumption, and operate ground vehicles more efficiently. For example, dnata’s Airport Operations teams minimise water use when washing aircraft, and recycle newspapers and other paper products collected from Emirates aircraft cabins at Dubai International Airport.
We have also continued our tradition of supporting biodiversity and conservation. One thousand endangered houbara bustards, a culturally important bird species for the UAE, were released in the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, the management of which is supported by Emirates.
These birds have thrived and some have successfully reared chicks. Our conservation based resort in Australia’s Blue Mountains, Emirates Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa, continued to win awards for sustainability, as well as play host to rare and endangered wildlife.
These are just some highlights of our efforts of the past year, and as you read the rest of this report, I hope you will be as heartened as I am to see the progress that we have made in improving our environmental and other sustainability metrics.
We know that every little effort counts, especially when magnified by the scale of our global operations and workforce. Just as we know that to make a truly meaningful impact, sustainability efforts have to be continuous and long-term. At the Emirates Group, we are fully committed to responsible business and environmental stewardship.
His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum
Chairman and Chief Executive Emirates Airline & Group