Essa Sulaiman Ahmad

The Vice President India and Nepal, Emirates speaks to us about the ever-growing aviation industry and what is new for the Dubai-based airline
Essa Sulaiman Ahmad
Essa Sulaiman Ahmad

OT How would you describe Indias aviation sector in the present scenario What lies ahead

E.S Ahmad The industry is on a high growth trajectory and passengers have a lot to look forward to in 2018. With competition set to increase in the international travel space, innovation will be the key to meet passengers expectations. Airlines are now concentrating on the finer detailsdigital innovations like virtual reality, in-flight WiFi, personalised on-board experiences as well as using advanced technologies in airports. Apart from innovation, using technology to connect better with ones audience is also something that will evolve and shape the industry. With airlines re-establishing themselves as brands, the focus is not only to promote on-board products but also engage the audience and play with different formats to interact with them more effectively.

OT In terms of flight technology and aircraft innovation, what is new for Emirates

E.S Ahmad The past year has been one of great strides for Emirates. In November, we unveiled our Boeing 777s sensational First Class product, which features fully enclosed private suites inspired by Mercedes-Benz. All our Boeing 777 cabins are to benefit from the upgrade, which includes newly designed seats and upgraded in-flight entertainment systems in all cabins.

OT What are some of the challenges that face the sector, and how do you plan to tackle these in 2018

E.S Ahmad A key challenge that needs to be addressed is how the government, airports and other infrastructure providers will navigate the evolution of the competitive landscape in Indias aviation market. Just like infrastructure on the ground and in the air, the competitive infrastructure needs to be updated to keep up with the pace of change. Indias fast growing aviation market needs continued support from government policies to ensure Indias aviation industry is able to meet its true potential. Airlines have a major role to play as facilitators of connectivity, trade and tourism and public policies that support and harness this economic potential will accelerate industry progress.

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