The UK remains a hotspot for Emirates, despite the country’s political turmoil, the airline’s British chief executive has said.
Speaking at the World Aviation Festival in London on Thursday (5 September), Sir Tim Clark said the UK was “20% of our production, 55% of our profits”.
Clark said while the UK had its economic problems, he stressed: “Despite all of this, the UK remains one of the strongest and most profitable markets on our network.
"We have been growing by 6-8% every year. It defies what is going on in other parts of the world.”
Emirates has recently added two daily Stansted flights and introduced the Airbus A380 at Glasgow. Its six daily Heathrow and three daily Gatwick services are averaging 93% loads.
Clark said all segments – “leisure, business and VFR” – were attractive to Emirates in the UK, with inbound sales currently helped by the weak pound.
Emirates, Clark told delegates, also intends to add more destinations and capacity to the US, and fully integrate budget sister brand FlyDubai into the Emirates operation.
Emirates will unveil a premium economy cabin next year.
Clark said Emirates was acutely aware of the effects of climate change, adding the industry “had to face reality” that consumers were alarmed at the prospect.
“It’s not really about the shaming of flight. It’s really saying, ’do we need to travel and to question how you do it?’ I am not disagreeing with that," said Clark.
However, he added: “The airline industry produces 2% [of emissions], maritime is a little bit more. The automotive industry is 16-18%. Cows do the rest.
“I think to suggest the airline industry is probably the whipping boy of all of this is a little bit disingenuous.”