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Emirates’ Clark: Airline Might Need 4 Years to Return to All Routes

Tim Clark, who is scheduled to step down later this month as president of Emirates Airways, believes the Dubai-based airline might require up to four years to resume a full schedule on all of its pre-pandemic routes. “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,” Clark told a leading aviation consultant on Monday during a web-based interview. Prior to the outbreak of the coronavirus, Emirates operated flights on 157 routes to 83 foreign countries. Save for repatriation flights, all passenger operations have been halted since March. Clark sees the beginning of a recovery only by the summer of 2021, but believes the discovery of a vaccine will be necessary for this to happen as social distancing would mean half-empty airliners, an impracticality economically and environmentally.