“As long as this virus doesn’t go on for too long, we will go about our lives and see things going back to normalcy in June 2021. If we get the vaccine by Q1 2021, we have a fighting chance and my bet is on that. Once we’ve got everybody through the inoculation process, like we did with polio, with smallpox and everything else, we will start to see things coming back to normal. There will be quite a large uptick from summer next year for the medium and long-haul airlines,” says Tim Clark, President of Emirates Airlines, while sharing his opinions at a webinar.
“People are anxious to get back to their lives. This will be a difficult period due to salary cuts and furloughs which is going to dampen demand in the short term. Once we enter 2021, things will change.”
– Tim Clark,
President – Emirates Airlines
The airline, which had services to 157 destinations in 83 countries before lockdown, is facing the most difficult times in its 35 year-long history. “We just can’t keep our employees doing nothing for so long so we’re going to have to let some of them go, unfortunately,” said Clark while addressing the employee layoff at Emirates.
“Eventually we’ll get over this, it’s probably just the next six-to-nine months where it’s going to be tough, Clark said.
Clark hopes that tourists will return to Dubai from next month. The airline is confident that it can mobilize its fleet within 48 hours if required and they are monitoring the global situation for countries reopening their borders, protocols to be followed onboard and quarantine procedures.
“I think probably by the year 2022-23, 2023-24 we will see things coming back to some degree of normality and Emirates will be operating its network as it was – and hopefully as successfully as it was.
Tim Clark doesn’t think that “corporate travel will diminish” and that social distancing inside the flight will not be possible economically and environmentally as it would mean flying it half empty. The airline will, for now ask, its passengers to wear gloves and masks while onboard.
Tim Clark is set to become an advisor to the airline after he steps down from the position of President this month.