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CEO Predictions 2015: Sir Tim Clark, President, Emirates

CEO Predictions 2015: Sir Tim Clark, President, Emirates

Emirates plays a critical role in growing Dubai’s connectivity.

For Emirates, 2014 has been a year of considerable growth, and we continue to lay the groundwork for more expansion.
Over 27 aircraft have been delivered and we launched eight new routes.

Our route additions are part of a larger meticulously mapped network strategy in accordance with our fleet deliveries.
In fact, our record delivery of 13 A380s enabled the addition of 10 destinations to our A380 network in 2014, and supported the doubling of A380 services to other existing points.

Our 12 Boeing 777-300ERs, along with two Boeing 777 freighters, with their long- range capabilities, enabled us to open new destinations in North America, Asia Pacific and Africa. Africa will continue to be an important project for us, and the United States is a vital market for growth.

In 2014, we were faced with challenges at our own hub with a runway closure that lasted for 80 days, but as ever – we rose to the test. We strategically slimmed down our operations, and worked hard to ensure we continued to deliver excellence in customer experience.

The infrastructural investment paid off and the enhancements made at Dubai International has added much needed capacity, which will allow us to expand at the airport in the years to come and achieve our 70 million passenger target by 2020.

Additionally in 2015, the opening of Concourse D will help open more slots and ease capacity constraints for Emirates.

These initiatives illustrate the Dubai government’s clear strategy for aviation development. They capitalised on Dubai’s geo-centricity and built a solid infrastructure around it. What we have today comes from a strong vision underpinned by focused planning, a consensus-based approach and thorough execution.

This is why the economic impact of aviation and tourism will rise to $53.1 billion in 2020 and will support over 754,500 Dubai-based jobs.

This is why we are confident that we can support the 20 million visitors expected for Expo 2020.

Emirates plays a critical role in growing Dubai’s connectivity. Passengers today can connect from Dubai to 25 cities with populations of over 10 million people and 149 cities with populations of over 1 million.

We are helping to create potential export markets of over 1.8 billion people for Dubai’s local businesses, as well as multinationals based here.

One of the biggest issues the global economy has had to face is that of artificially inflated oil prices. With oil prices dropping – for the first time in years – the global economy has been given a fighting chance to get back on a reasonable footing.

In 2015, the airline industry is set to reap the benefits of declining oil prices. The industry will also see unprecedented profits, if the prices continue to be at the levels we see today.

Confidence is already returning to the industry and reinvestment in aircraft and infrastructure is underway in many parts of the world – a promising sign for aviation. However, we are not out of the woods yet.

We have been limited by the strength of the US dollar, which has had a ripple effect on currency fluctuations in many of our key markets, negatively impacting our profits.

We continue to witness the rise of protectionism in many of the markets we operate in, coupled with heavy regulatory burdens.

In developing markets, challenges such as the Ebola outbreak and regional conflicts have come to the centre stage.

Tragedies like MH 370 and MH 17 have forced us to reconsider how we plan our course, as well as our flight paths.

As we have always done, we will plough through the difficulties that lie ahead. Our strategy will remain as before, focusing on our own organic growth, connecting city pairs that make sense for tourism and business, while offering an outstanding value proposition for our customers.

Let’s brace ourselves for an exciting year ahead.

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