Emirates CEO Sir Tim Clarke weighed in at the London Aviation Fair yesterday. First he said the airline would have a better financial year. He put that on rising oil prices. These are a double edged sword for Emirates. High prices weigh on costs and profits, on the other hand they encourage more business travelers to the Middle East which make more money for the airline.
Next he said that the laptop ban being lifted had made a big difference and that the blockade of rival Qatar and its airline had been ‘difficult’.
The big news was his comment on Airbus. Typical of Clarke he fired a doubly ambiguous and very British type of criticism. Namely he wants to order 20 more A380’s but won’t if Airbus are thinking of cancelling the programme. Now if he orders another 20 they won’t want to cancel the programme will they!
What he really worries about is a programme cancellation that will affect the asset values of the A380’s Emirates own outright.
He also said that while the A380 update at the Paris Show was a nice idea aerodynamically, Emirates “don’t need the extra 80 seat capacity”.
It seems if you’re Airbus you just can’t win with demanding Middle East clients.
Emirates has also developed its own mid-term problem it has yet to solve. During its slash and burn of capacity to meet fallen demand, it ditched all of its mid-range A330 and 772’s. It’s now got insufficient medium aircraft on many routes – often flying under occupied 773’s. A descision on what to do about that should come in November at the Dubai air show. It’s likely to be good news for the Boeing 787 and GE engines.