March 9, 2021

The future of the Asian and global aviation market

Exclusive Interview: Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates Airlines 

In his ITB CEO Interview, entitled “The Future of the Asian and Global Aviation Market”, Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates Airlines, will discuss, among other topics, how global players like Emirates are ramping up their flight offerings again, and how Covid-19 changing industry structures. We asked him firstly how Emirates is faring today.

I expect air travel to gradually revive in the second half of 2021, with entry restrictions easing as vaccination efforts roll-out across countries. This will bring further stability for the return of corporate and leisure travel demand. Emirates has already returned to about 60% of our pre-pandemic network, serving over 90 destinations worldwide. We expect to be serving our full network by Q1 2022. 

We expect to be serving our full network by Q1 2022.

Emirates has played a pivotal role during the pandemic. Can you tell us more?
This pandemic is a global problem and as a global airline, we put our hands up to be part of the solution. In early 2020, Emirates quickly pivoted our operations to focus on cargo, which helped maintain vital global air links to transport PPE, medicines, food and other essential items. 

Emirates has set up the world’s largest vaccine distribution hub in Dubai

Emirates has set up the world’s largest vaccine distribution hub in Dubai. Together with our logistics partners, we can move vaccines securely from factory to destination under 48 hours. We’ve also signed up to UNICEF’s COVAX Facility, dedicated to the equitable distribution of Covid-19 vaccines globally. 

On the customer care front, Emirates led the industry with initiatives such as flexible booking policies, multi-risk insurance cover, and a commitment to honouring refunds.

We’ve implemented a comprehensive set of measures at every step of the travel journey to ensure the health and safety of customers and employees. Vitally, all our measures are regularly reviewed and updated in line with the latest medical advice and knowledge. 

In January, we rolled-out a voluntary company-wide vaccination programme to protect our workforce, as well as provide an added layer of protection for our customers and communities. Credit has to go to the UAE government for making Covid-19 vaccines free and readily available to the population, including aviation workers at the frontline.

How important is the fact that Dubai is increasingly becoming a destination itself?
Our home Dubai is one of the most visited cities and popular holiday destinations in the world. Dubai is welcoming tourists with the highest levels of safety protocols in place and was one of the first cities in the world to receive the WTTC Safe Travels Certificate. The Expo 2020 Dubai, starting this October, will leave another meaningful and lasting legacy, providing many reasons to come to Dubai during its six-months run. With our network covering all continents, we will be the major facilitator of direct and safe connectivity to the World Expo. People haven’t been able to travel for a while and at Expo Dubai, they can experience the entire world in one place. 

How important is the “ITB platform” in terms of promoting thought leadership and guidance?
ITB remains the world’s leading travel trade show and there is no other platform for the travel eco-system of that size and global dimension. Especially in these testing times for our industry, ITB Berlin NOW offers a unique opportunity for exchange and inspiration.

“The Future of the Asian and Global Aviation Market”
Tuesday, 9 March 2021
12:20 – 12:35
ITB Berlin NOW Convention Stage 1

Photo: Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline
© Emirates