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Meeting Point Emirates: Chartering growth for success

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Meeting Point Emirates has a strong but simple vision to grow and expand based on solid analysis. The company is the flagship DMC of Meeting Point International, a global destination management company headquartered in Munich. The parent company is spread across 19 countries and 44 destinations and empowers more than 450 partners. With a strong backing, Jouni maintains that the growth of Meeting Point Emirates has been consistent since its inception. “We started by catering to 27,000 customers and recent statistics of the company state that we are touching a base of 400,000 passengers. This a triple growth,” he explains.

With a mature staff base of 430 employees, the company boasts about not believing in competition but competing within itself to strive for growth. Part of the growth can be attributed to being affiliated with FTI Group. The company also prides itself in having its own fleet and content which is an advantage. There is no limitations to the kind of business accepted and spans across all segmentations in the emirates. With a big focus on charter services, the company is a full-fledged destination marketing company that focuses on luxury business which ranges from the AED3000 to AED6000 range in hotels.

Charting growth

The company ventured into the charter business and commenced operations to Egypt with FTI at 10 charters per week. This route is currently serviced with 120 charters per week. The success of the company, according to Jouni is attributed to his well-trained staff who is able to manage a million business. “We have matched our target for 2017 which is above 270,000 passengers,” claims an optimistic Jouni. The FTI Group along with Meeting Point Emirates also recently initiated its charter with 255 passengers’ year-round daily arrivals to Dubai thus making the Emirate more accessible than ever. This program is the first and only charter service that will fly from the German speaking market to Al Maktoum International Airport (DWC) 365 days of the year, in all seasons regardless of seasonality. The flight program is set to complement existing service by Emirates Airlines from Vienna, Zurich, Geneva, Frankfurt, Munich, Berlin and Hamburg. The flight program includes daily, year-round direct flights and departs on a weekly basis from Leipzig, Hannover, Cologne, Munich and Stuttgart. In winter weekly flights are scheduled from Berlin and Basel, while in summer weekly flights are scheduled from Nuremburg and Dresden.

The connections to Al Maktoum Airport (DWC) are carried by Condor on a Boeing B757-300 aircraft and offer value-for-money packages that include airline tickets of economy or premium seats and six or 13-night hotel stays. With the combined routing FTI GROUP now covers the entire German speaking market with 77 non-stop weekly flights to Dubai and access from 13 airports.

The objective of having a year-round connectivity is to work with hotels on filling rooms during the lean period. “We have regularly worked with hotels in Dubai and have seen that there are challenging periods during the year. This is where our charter services can assist. This does not mean that we either sell or buy cheap. We believe that we buy what we can sell in terms of rooms. We also believe in working in a rational way with hotels especially for periods which are low like the summers or during Ramadan,” explains Jouni.

The destination is then sold during the low season to people who would like affordable holidays with a little bit of adjustments such as the weather. The company also ensure that they work in tandem with FTI Group to ensure that clients coming into Dubai have at least one or two attraction bookings. Meeting Point Emirates also ensures continuous service with trained hotel representatives, who are available 24×7 for any emergencies.

Structuring Expansion

Having established a solid presence in the region. The company also is of the opinion that expansion needs to be structured. As Jouni says, “We have different brand and different sales channels to cater for different segments”.

With a strong hold on the UK market, the top priority markets that follow are Germany and Russian speaking markets, while domestically it is the GCC and Iran market. However, the time is now to look ahead.

Based on demand for the charter business, the company has handled charters from Austria but with a lesser volume. This market could be considered but may not be in the same frequency.  Another focus would be selective periods from the UK and Iran, provided the right content is built. However, this would not be before 2020 and certainly not daily charters.

As Jouni concludes saying: “These are testing time for us with our 365-day charter service to Dubai. Based on the success of the program and how we play the game, we may look at some options of enhancing traffic from Germany even further. This would mean flying from four airports instead of six or flying twice a day instead of one. However, once we increase the frequency, we may look at shorter holidays and explore other emirates like Abu Dhabi and Ras Al Khaimah, who have shown keen interest.”