Emirates – founded by the Dubai Royal Family in 1985

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With their head offices in Dubai, Emirates Airlines have taken advantage of the vast amounts of wealth being generated in and around their Middle East base to become one of the major players in the air travel industry.

Running around 3,400 flights each week from a central hub at Dubai International Airport, the Emirates earn an estimated £1 billion in revenues each year.

Founded by the Dubai Royal Family in order to plug a lack of air travel to the region in 1985, the business quickly earned a reputation for industry leading levels of customer service (surpassing even British Airways in this regard) – due in part to their strong links to businessmen who require travel to the United Arab Emirates in conjunction with their working life, and the high demands such clients place upon a service.

Now one of the most renowned airlines in the world, Emirates have invested heavily in sports sponsorship over the last decade or so – most prominently through football – and now count FIFA, AC Milan, Arsenal, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid among their commercial partners. Much of their funding is placed at the elite level of the game, and the brand has reaped the benefits of such exposure through increased brand recognition and profits.

Despite such enormous growth in a small amount of time, Emirates has remained consistent is being one of the world’s most profitable airlines, and has frequently placed in Air Transport World magazine’s “Airline of the Year” top 10 awards.