UAE President Tim Clark Says Demand ‘Extremely Resilient’ Despite COVID-19 Disruption

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Clark said he expected Emirates to continue with the hub model and grow “at a rate beyond the pandemic”.

“This gives countries enormous economic power and they benefit from the power of the private sector to the state which takes its share of the pie through the tax regimes that are imposed,” Clark added.

“Ascending mode”

The aviation industry was hoping to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic after intensive vaccination campaigns in developed countries, but the new Omicron variant has clouded hopes of a recovery as it threatens the December travel season.

Clark said Emirates was working on the basis that the new variant could be treated effectively with vaccines, but added that the next few weeks would prove to be critical. Read more

“We are in what I would call bottom up mode, but… there could be various concerns at any time, and we have to adjust our schedules accordingly,” he said.

Emirates planned to deploy 60 more A380s in response to improved demand, in addition to the 47 in service, but Clark said those plans would depend on the new variant.

Emirates is the largest customer of the Airbus A380 superjumbo, whose production is halted due to weak sales.

“The 380s have boosted Emirates’ profitability since arriving,” said Clark, describing them as “astronomically” good for an airport.

He said if the airline community had been deeply traumatized and adopted a risk aversion approach to aircraft acquisitions, the dropping of large aircraft would “inhibit the capacity of airports” by reducing the flow. of travelers.

“The most important thing to do is to resolve the cash flow situation in the future. So that means offloading the debt that they (the airlines) have incurred and strengthening the balance sheets,” he said. .

Governments have injected billions of dollars into airlines during the coronavirus pandemic and the Emirates state-owned company has received around $ 3.8 billion in equity injections from Dubai, of which $ 2 billion has been disclosed. last year.

Clark said he doesn’t expect additional government support over the next year as long as the new variant doesn’t cause too much disruption.


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