Chamber member Emirates has been connecting the region and its businesses to the wider world for more than a decade, with a strong presence and daily services from Newcastle International Airport. Contact finds out more from the airline’s district sales manager, Julie Bailey
Newcastle International Airport has become an important element in Emirates’ UK operations, which opened with the launch of its Dubai-London Gatwick flights more than 30 years ago.
The world’s largest international airline now operates 130 non-stop flights every week from the UK to Dubai. This includes six services a day from London Heathrow, three from London Gatwick and Manchester, two from Birmingham, London Stansted and Glasgow, a daily service from Newcastle and a five times weekly service from Edinburgh.
Emirates has been operating in Newcastle since 2007 and in 2018 it celebrated its two millionth passenger associated with the airport. The most popular onward destinations from Dubai for Newcastle Business Class passengers include Bangkok, Sydney, Perth and Melbourne.
Emirates district sales manager Julie Bailey (pictured below) says: “Newcastle International Airport has become an important gateway for both business and leisure travellers in the North East and it plays a vital role in the growth of the local economy. The key to the success of Emirates is that it connects the North East to Dubai, and then on to a host of destinations worldwide – facilitating exports from UK businesses to the Middle East and beyond.
“Emirates takes great pride in the role it plays in the region, for businesses and tourists alike. The gateway was hailed a game changer for the North East upon its arrival in 2007 – given its strategic position in the heart of the Northern Powerhouse – and we are excited about what the future holds as it continues to go from strength to strength.’’
She says that Emirates’ presence in Newcastle offers a gateway to growth for the local economy.
“Transporting your cargo through our state-of-the-art, multi- airport hub in Dubai helps people and businesses from the North East make the very most of overseas trade opportunities.’’
She adds: “Emirates running flights seven days a week from Newcastle was a trailblazing move from a Middle East carrier. 31 It’s a very successful route for us and we see a good mix of corporate and leisure travellers.”
In 1985 Emirates launched its airfreight division SkyCargo, which has grown to become one of the largest international cargo airlines in the world. It connects the world’s supply chains across 158 destinations in 85 countries and it now has a fleet of 268, of which 12 are dedicated freighters.
“Our ongoing commitment to innovation has allowed us to continuously increase our cargo capacity and develop specialised products that meet the growing needs of our customers,’’ says Julie.
Emirates has sponsored Durham County Cricket Club since 2010 and in 2016 it signed a new seven-year partnership with the club which saw Durham’s Riverside Stadium renamed Emirates Riverside.
“We are honoured to be associated with one of the best clubs in the country and a fantastic stadium which is recognised around the globe for its world class facilities,’’ she says.
“The Durham Dynamos, who play at Emirates Riverside, are one of the leading teams in the Twenty20 format of the game, which has seen a massive growth in popularity in the UK over recent years. Our association provides Emirates with a platform to engage cricket fans across the UK and especially in the North East of England.’’
Earlier this year, Emirates triumphed at the Business Traveller Middle East Awards, taking home five awards including Best Airline in the Word, Best First Class and Best Airport Lounge in the Middle East.
These awards are the latest in a series of accolades won by the airline, which was also successful at the 2019 TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice awards for Airlines, where it won four awards including: Best First Class in the world, Best Regional Business Class Middle East, Best First Class Middle East; and overall Travellers’ Choice Major Airline honour for the Middle East.
“This string of success demonstrates our exceptional service and customer experience to business travellers in the North East, across the UK and the rest of the world,’’ says Julie. “We continue to raise the bar on global travel, with pioneering inflight entertainment and outstanding comfort, ensuring that our business travellers get a better and more enjoyable experience every time.’’
The airline’s frequent flyer programme Emirates Skywards offers four tiers of membership – blue, silver, gold and platinum – that each provide exclusive privileges, benefits and services. Emirates Skywards members earn Skywards Miles when they fly on Emirates, flydubai or partner airlines, or when they use the programme’s designated hotels, car rentals, financial, leisure and lifestyle partners. These Skywards Miles can be redeemed for a range of rewards, including tickets on Emirates or flydubai plus Emirates Skywards partner airlines, hotel accommodation, excursions and exclusive shopping.
Also, if a business is signed up to Emirates Business Rewards – its corporate loyalty programme – the organisation will earn points for flight redemptions. This links into the wider Skywards programme, as individuals will also earn Skywards Miles on the same flight if they’re an Emirates Skywards member.
Julie concludes: “We are committed to continuing investment in the North East of England, helping local companies to do business around the world and offering passengers the very best travel experience. We are proud to provide greater connectivity and more convenience for leisure and business passengers from the wider Newcastle area to destinations across Emirates’ global network via Dubai. We continually review and evaluate new opportunities to ensure we can connect businesses to global trade, whilst providing memorable travel experiences for passengers on board our fleet of iconic A380s and 777s.’’
Julie Bailey on her airline industry career and working for Emirates
District sales manager Julie Bailey started her career in airline sales at British Airways (BA) in 1988 as a reservations trainee and did her basic training before progressing to a supervisor role. She worked on staff travel and account management and eventually in 1994 was made corporate account manager at BA, a role she had long-coveted.
“I was managing the relationship between BA and corporates such as Astra Zeneca and HIT. That was my first proper role on the road from a sales point of view,’’ she recalls. “I was then promoted to key account manager with responsibility for My Travel (leisure sales) then regional sales manager looking after everything regionally for non-London, including Southampton, Bristol, Birmingham and Manchester.’’
She left BA in 2006 to look after her young family, but after 18 months, wanted to get back to work.
She says: “I was immediately drawn back to the airline industry. Jobs like the one I left at BA are not easy to come by, but I saw a regional sales manager job advertised with Emirates and it couldn’t have worked out better. Based out of Emirates’ Wilmslow, Manchester office I was responsible for the sales team in areas including Manchester, Birmingham and Newcastle.”
We asked Julie what she liked the most about working for Emirates. She replies: “I feel that the reason I am still so happy to be here after 12 years is because we have got a really good team and we are very fortunate in the fact that most of the sales execs and support team working in the regions are very experienced, and have worked together for a long time. Most of us have clocked up quite a few years working for Emirates, giving that continuity to clients works so well from a business relationship point of view. To me, it’s a combination of a fantastic team and a fantastic brand that makes Emirates such a tremendous airline to work for.”
On Emirates’ relationship with the North East England Chamber of Commerce, Julie says: “Some of my colleagues have long established relationships with the chamber and I recently had the pleasure of attending the chamber’s Annual Dinner at Durham Cathedral. We work closely with the chamber on a number of different initiatives, and, as a member, they help to identify new business, particularly on the import and export side. They stage some great networking events which are very valuable to our team in making new contacts. “What I found really heart-warming at the dinner that I went to was the fact that our relationships are multi-level with Chamber staff. We have developed friendly and fruitful relations, whether with the marketing people or the directors, everybody knew who we were; that makes a big difference.
Emirates: An asset for the region’s exporters
– Emirates transports the majority of the £310m worth of annual exports out of Newcastle International Airport.
– Before Emirates arrived in the region, flown exports stood at less than £20m.
– In Emirates’ first 10 years at Newcastle International Airport, more than 28,000 tonnes of cargo have been shipped in and out of the city.
– The cargo has consisted of a range of high value, time sensitive and speciality goods – including luxury vehicles, automotive engine parts, pharmaceuticals, food, textiles, electronic and works of art into and out of the UK.
Newcastle International Airport