You prove subsidy, I will resign next day: Tim Clark

Success driven by business model

Emirates airlines, the Middle East's largest carrier, denied on Tuesday receiving government subsidies, hitting back at European claims that it was competing on the back of state aid.
"You prove a subsidy and I will resign the next day. It is completely wrong," Emirates President Tim Clark said in an interview.

"We have grown without subsidy through the success of our commercially driven business model and see no reason to apologise for what we have achieved," president Tim Clark said in a statement.
Emirates finances only 20 per cent of aircraft through export credits, Tim Clark said dismissing subsidy allegations by rival airlines as "nonsense".

US and European airlines last week launched a campaign to change rules which allow foreign airlines to receive credits when buying Airbus and Boeing planes, a facility denied to carriers in countries where the planes are produced.

 "To suggest that we get 100 per cent support and the soft loans that come with that - according to them - is giving us a competitive advantage is nonsense but then most of those accusations are," said Clark.

"Only 20 percent of our aircraft have been financed using export credit agency supported loans," he added.

Bloomberg News quoted Air France-KLM Chief Executive Pierre-Henri Gourgeon on Monday as saying European governments should curb the expansion of Gulf Arab carriers, including Emirates, to protect European airlines from what he described as unfair competitive advantage.

120 Airbus A380s

Emirates aims to have 120 Airbus A380s when new airport space is available and is working with Boeing on the next generation of 777 jets.

Emirates, whose passengers are growing at 20 per cent annually and expects to maintain this level for the next five years, will fulfill all its 90 orders so far for the A380 superjumbo, President Tim Clark said.

"We would like some more but we are going to run short of space," he said. "120 was the baseline figure that the planners worked to get where we needed to be, but we couldn't order that amount because it was too many for here so 90 was a compromise."

The carrier will order more when it gets additional space at its home base in Dubai, he added.

The target implies a future Emirates order for 30 of the world's largest airliner, worth $10bn at list prices, at an unspecified date. If the airline went ahead with its growth plans it would have an A380 fleet worth over $40bn.

Emirates, already by far the biggest customer for A380, announced a record $11bn order for 32 superjumbos at the Berlin Air Show in June.

At July's Farnborough Air Show, Emirates also ordered 30 Boeing  777-300ER wide-body planes, a deal worth potentially more than $9bn.

Clark said the airline is collaborating with Boeing to find a solution for the manufacturer's wide-body 777 aircraft, but said he could not share more details.

"We are working with Boeing on the next generation of 777. We are still very interested in a replacement," he said.

Boeing has said it is looking at the future of the aircraft which faces competition from the future Airbus A350-1000.

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