By Nathalie Craig01 May 2018The Emirates story started in 1985 when they launched operations with just two aircraft. Today, they’re the world’s largest airline in terms of passenger traffic and operates the world’s biggest fleets of Airbus A380s and Boeing 777s, Emirates inspires travellers around the world, including our readers who voted them in as The Best International Airline in the inaugural KARRYON Awards. We spoke to Divisional Vice President of Emirates for Australasia Barry Brown to learn more about the airline’s worldwide success. What does winning a KARRYON Industry Award mean to Emirates? It’s not only a great honour to be recognised in this category, it’s a true testament to our people who are at the core of our business. They have and always will be our biggest strength. From our Cabin Crew onboard to our Flight Operations team who work tirelessly to provide a superior experience. We’re always challenging industry norms to give passengers an experience that exceeds their expectations while making them feel at home with us and that’s what makes us their first choice time after time. This kind of recognition is always a wonderful reminder of why what we do is so significant and why it’s so important that we continue to continue evolving. How do you and your team make an impression to agents and consumers? Whether it’s inflight, on ground or online, Emirates is renowned for its outstanding customer service and that’s something we won’t compromise on. We’re continually working on every element of the journey to achieve operational excellence, in every sense. But we’re also always celebrating the people within our company that provide our customers with that experience. We have an international team of over 23,000 cabin crew, who represent over 135 countries and speak more than 60 languages. We encourage diversity and we know that our inclusivity is just one of the elements that make us the airline of choice for so many people around the globe. How important is your organisation to the industry? Life is good Since its inception, Emirates has been incredibly progressive and forward thinking, whether it comes to aircraft innovation or making the passenger experience unsurpassable. We were the first airline to install TV screens on every seat in 1992 and to allow mobile phone use inflight in 2008. More recently, the new First Class Private Suites in Emirates Boeing 777-300ER feature quite a few firsts within the industry, including virtual windows, NASA inspired ‘zero-gravity’ seating position and a personal video-call service. In this sense, we’re true industry leaders and that’s a position we always plan to maintain. What do you love most about the travel industry? There are so many elements of the travel industry that make it one of the most fascinating, exciting industries to be a part of, but at the heart of the travel industry is the many fascinating people that make it tick. Then it’s the people connectivity that Emirates offers and that’s where the magic happens so to speak. It’s also an incredibly diverse industry and Emirates honours this every day through our vast network and wonderful team. What is your most memorable travel experience? What an unfair question! Was it my family holiday to Hong Kong in 1968, was it my backpack and Eurail around UK/Europe as a teenager, was it the view atop the Jungfrau mountain, was it wandering Queenstown, was it top of the Burj Khalifa or was it staying in the extremely luxurious six-star wing of the Shangri-La Hotel in Oman? There are too many places, memories and souvenirs to single out one except my most memorable flying experience was taking a shower in the Emirates A380 shower-spa at 38,000 feet. This is probably the biggest bucket-list item any travelling person should attempt to tick off their list. What do you think the future holds for the travel industry? First-Class dining The exciting thing about the travel industry is that anything is possible. Most prominently, you have the unimaginable innovation that’s bound to take place. Limits that we never thought could be surpassed will be and that will impact travellers, and the industry, in a multitude of ways. The customer experience will change dramatically at every touchpoint and we look forward to remaining a leader of this change. Emirates has always thrived when it comes to change and growth, so this is a challenge we’re well equipped to take on. Any advice to an individual thinking of joining the industry? First and foremost, the travel industry is a ‘people’ industry. You must be passionate about the people you are serving and it’s crucial to have an in-depth understanding of them. The industry is becoming increasingly saturated, so without this, you can’t cut through the noise. That’s why Emirates is so successful – we’ll never stop learning from our customers and we’ll never stop providing innovating reasons for them to fly us in the future. Thanks to our sponsor nib travel insurance. READ: The KARRYON 2018 AWARDS: All the winners revealed READ: Meet your favourite BDM: Elizabeth Hutchison, Air NZ READ: Meet your most outstanding female travel leader in Australia Please join us in congratulating Emirates on a job well done! Other stories you may like DISTRESSING: Passenger told that her emotional support squirrel could not fly with her GAME CHANGER: A new way to help customers claim flight disruption compensation MUSIC TO OUR EARS: Check out the new Delta Air Lines B777 & win a trip to the GRAMMY Awards® ceremony!