Emirates airline President Sir Tim Clarke sits down with Euronews to talk about the future of the aviation industry in the wake of the pandemic.
Emirates airline started the week at Dubai Airshow by announcing that it is boosting its fleet with a €47 billion order for 90 Boeing 777X aeroplanes.
Speaking to Euronews, Emirates President Sir Tim Clarke said: “So we’ve got in total now 245 Boeing aircraft on order and 50 A350s will start being delivered next year. This is all part and parcel of the expansion of our network over the next 10 to 15 years.” Following a cautious few years post-COVID, Clarke says that “demand remains very strong” for the aviation industry and that “the Middle East is really potent now in terms of economic activity, a lot of inward investment, a lot of wealth generation going on in Saudi Arabia, of course, and in the states around.”
The ambition of the industry’s sustainability goals is to be net zero by 2050. With regard to Emirates’ commitment to reducing emissions, he said: “We set ourselves a task. We’re on a journey there. Now, as long as we do the right thing and try as hard as we can, then in the end, that target is a date that can possibly come forward and go backwards, but [let’s] start moving in that direction.”
“We are a long way off from getting aircraft that will fly on zero-emission fuel,” he added. “We can introduce SAF. We can do all sorts of business, which is what we’re doing.”
Looking towards the challenges facing airlines in the next few years, he says that Emirates’ biggest one is their inability to expand at the pace that they would like to. And his advice for the future: “This industry is here to stay. Do the right thing, concentrate and get into the sweet spot of the product. Remain laser-focused on doing what you think you’re going to provide and add value to shareholders and also to you.”