Emirates announce new Hungarian route
Emirates, the Dubai-headquartered global airline and enabler of business and trade, will commence services to Hungary later this year with a daily flight to the capital Budapest.
Starting 27 October, Emirates will offer a Dubai-Budapest route, operating a wide-body A330-200 aircraft in a two class configuration. With the launch of Emirates’ daily service, passengers in Hungary will have greater connectivity to key business and trading centres in the Far East and in the Middle East.
Emirates SkyCargo will offer 12 tonnes of cargo capacity in each direction. Popular export commodities from Hungary are expected to be machinery, spare parts and foodstuff. The cargo division expects to transport garments, raw materials and electronics.
Hungarian nationals now benefit from a visa-on-arrival in Dubai. With markets in Asia playing an increasing role in Hungary’s foreign economic growth targets, Emirates expects to see strong demand for this new service, especially to countries like Thailand, China, Sri Lanka and the Indian Ocean Islands.
Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline said: “Connectivity and mobility are crucial in today’s global economy, and our service to Budapest will open up a world of opportunity for people in Hungary. It will introduce faster connections for our customers - both passengers and exporters – through our Dubai hub to numerous points that are currently underserved, including Sydney, Taipei and Phuket.
“These vital connections will inject new demand for travel, help boost bilateral trade with markets in the East, and magnify the competitiveness of the Hungarian economy. Ultimately, our global network benefits our customers.”
Emirates’ new Budapest route coincides with the opening of the airline’s Customer Contact Centre in the city this October. Together, the new Emirates office and Customer Contact Centre will support 300 local jobs, resulting in a multi-million dollar investment in the local economy.
Clark continued: “Budapest will be the third European destination we launch services to in this financial year, highlighting our continued investment in the region. We also continue to add frequencies and much needed seat capacity on many of our existing European routes.”
Jost Lammers, Chief Executive Officer, Budapest Airport, said: “We’re absolutely ecstatic to welcome Emirates to Hungary. We promised some very significant new service developments this year, so Budapest Airport is enormously proud to announce the arrival of this major global carrier especially because Emirates will be offering both: daily frequencies and wide-bodied services.
“We’ve been working really hard with Emirates over the last five years to place fast-growing Budapest on their network radar, and I have absolutely no doubt that this new daily service will be extremely popular in connecting Hungary to the world.”
Considered a financial hub in Central Europe, Budapest currently has the fifth largest economy in Central and Eastern Europe and offers a very favourable business environment for global investors. The UAE is Hungary’s largest Arab trading partner with annual trade between the two countries pegged at around US $1.2 billion.
Emirates currently employs 140 Hungarian nationals in various roles across the company, including 114 Cabin Crew and eight Pilots. Besides Budapest, Emirates is launching two other destinations to Europe: Oslo on 2 September and Brussels on 5 September.
Pandora and IBM digitise jewellery supply chain
Pandora has overhauled its global supply chain in partnership with IBM amid an ecommerce sales boom for its hand-finished jewellery.
The company found international success offering customisable charm bracelets and other personalised jewellery though its chain of bricks and mortar retail destinations. But in 2020, as the COVID-19 outbreak forced physical stores to close, Pandora strengthened its omnichannel operations and doubled online sales.
A focus on customer experience included deploying IBM’s Sterling Order Management, increasing supply chain resiliency and safeguarding against disruption across the global value chain.
Pandora leverages IBM Sterling Order Management as the backbone it its omnichannel fulfilment, with Salesforce Commerce Cloud powering its ecommerce. Greater automation across its channels has boosted the jeweller’s sustainability credentials, IBM said, streamlining processes for more efficient delivery. It has also given in-store staff and virtual customer service representatives superior end-to-end visibility to better meet consumer needs.
Jim Cruickshank, VP of Digital Development & Retail Technology, Pandora, said the digital transformation journey has brought “digital and store technology closer together and closer to the customer”, highlighting how important the customer journey remains, even during unprecedented disruption.
"Our mission is about creating a personal experience and we've instituted massive platform changes with IBM Sterling and Salesforce to enable new digital-first capabilities that are much more individualised, localised and connected across channels and markets,” he added.
Pandora’s pivot to digital
The pandemic forced the doors closed at most of Pandora’s 2,700 retail locations. To remain competitive, it pivoted to online retail. Virtual queuing for stores and virtual product trials via augmented reality (AR) technology went someway to emulating the in-store experience and retail theatre that is the brand’s hallmark. Meanwhile digital investments in supply chain efficiency was central to delivering on consumer demand.
“Consumer behaviour has significantly shifted and will continue to evolve with businesses needing to quickly adapt to new preferences and needs,” said Kareem Yusuf, General Manager, AI Applications and Blockchain, IBM. “To address this shift, leading retailers like Pandora rely on innovation to increase their business agility by enabling and scaling sustainable supply chain operations using AI and cloud.”
Yusuf said Pandora’s success was indicative of how to remain competitive by “finding new ways to create differentiated customer experiences that protect their enterprises from disruptions to help mitigate risk and accelerate growth”.