A senior spokesperson for Emirates has defended the airline’s aggressive growth strategy and said it will not cause an oversupply in the market.
Gary Chapman, president of group services and Dnata, said Emirates’ business strategy relies on growth in the industry.
“Many of the things we do will create a market,” he said, speaking at the Future of Air Transport Conference 2010.
“We are pairing city pairs that haven’t been previously been connected, which creates opportunity for trade.”
Chapman’s comments follow a plea from Air France’s CEP Pierre-Henri Gourgeon for the European Union to slow the encroachment of Emirates and other Gulf airlines in the region.
In an interview with Bloomberg, he said that Europe’s status as an air-travel hub is under threat.
“Europe is at the crossroads of international air travel, and this is a role we need to value and defend,” said Gourgeon.
“What we’re telling the authorities is that we need a strategy that gives us a chance to resist.”
But according to Chapman, Emirates’ growth hasn’t taken market share away from other airlines.
“We have taken a market share that didn’t exist,” he said, as more people are travelling now because of the city pairs Emirates has created.
“We have no problem with this demand issue. That is what a free market should do.”
Chapman said Emirates will do what it believes is right for its business, and likewise “it really is for the other airlines to run their business”.
Continuing its growth, Emirates has recently announced a new route from its Dubai hub to Iraq.
The airline will start four times weekly flights to Basra in southern Iraq from February 2, 2011.