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Emirates Airline President Tim Clark: The A380 “defies gravity” in its success story

21 November 2013 Feature story

Tim Clark, the President of Emirates Airline – which is the world’s largest A380 customer – says Airbus’ 21st century flagship jetliner continues to be extremely popular with the Dubai-based airline’s customer base, and the aircraft’s double-deck configuration enables further evolution to satisfy passengers’ changing expectations. 

The Emirates A380 fleet currently stands at 39, and as this figure increases to match the carrier’s total orders for 140 aircraft, its utilization is being expanded to serve new markets with such near-term additions as Los Angeles in the U.S. to Barcelona and Zurich in Europe.

Clark said he is continually impressed about the high marks that Emirates’ A380s receive from customers, describing its success as “defying gravity” from the business point of view, while noting the airline must regularly improve to continue attracting passengers and retaining the competitive edge.

“The population is becoming extremely aspirational, and they are exposed to constant changes in fashion and consumer electronics – as two examples,” Clark said. “We are required to keep changing out the products that we offer to keep people interested. The lifecycle of a product has become much shorter now – if you don’t adapt, you will perish.”

According to Clark, Emirates recognizes that customers want to see something different, and in response the company is looking over the longer term to evolve its interior layouts.  

Emirates will be considering such steps as introducing new interior design elements, mood lighting and in-flight entertainment – all without compromising current comfort levels.  Benefitting from double-deck fuselage and cabin interior flexibility, the A380 gives Emirates plenty of room with which to work.

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