Emirates President Sir Tim Clark To Delay Retirement (Again) Until 2021

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Veteran Emirates Airlines President Sir Tim Clark will likely (once again) delay his retirement from the largest gulf airline to help steer the carrier during a challenging time.

It hasn’t officially announced yet but business media reports that Clark will stay on at least another year to oversee the direction of the airline during the Covid crisis.

Mr. Clark (70) joined the airline when it was founded back in 1985 as a planner and later advanced to a CEO overseeing the explosive growth in the 2000’s.

The initial plan for Mr. Clark was to retire in June of this year which coincided with a total traffic collapse due to the Coronavirus and Emirates facing the common problems all airlines do.

You can access Emirates here.

Now Bloomberg reported that signs are set for Sir Tim to stay on until next year.

Emirates President Tim Clark postponed his retirement into next year to help steer the world’s largest long-haul airline through the toughest crisis in its history, according to people familiar with the matter.

The 70-year-old, who had already delayed a June retirement plan, hasn’t yet set a departure date, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the decision hasn’t been made public.

Emirates has had to cut thousands of jobs, idle the majority of its A380 fleet and defer jet orders. The carrier’s focus on lengthy international flights is particularly vulnerable as travelers shy away from long-distance travel, which is expected to recover more slowly than shorter journeys. Clark has referred to the pandemic as both a glitch and the industry’s black swan, meaning a devastating and unpredictable event, yet still believes an upturn is possible once there’s a vaccine in place.

He’s been president since 2003, having been part of Emirates founding executive team from 1985. “I know what we did in the building of Emirates, and I know how the markets, particularly on the network basis, responded to what we did,” Clark said this month.

Clark is in industry titan, probably one of the last airline chiefs worldwide who helped built up the company and who has an emotional investment in the carrier he leads.

In times where corporations including airlines increasingly recruit from outside their own structure this is an extremely rare advantage and the wealth of experience can only benefit Emirates trying to get out of the crisis with one or two blue eyes instead of a dead corpse.

Conclusion

Tim Clark is now 70 years old which by itself isn’t a disqualifying factor (we currently see two candidates going towards the big 8-0 running for U.S. President) and it’s a rather honorable thing to do to stick around and keep looking after the carrier. He could definitely retire with ample financial resources instead of spending his senior years trying to steer Emirates through the worst crisis in history.

Airlines will need all the talent they can get to build up a strong management team for the times ahead and hopefully see the industry recover over the years to come. 2020 has been a disaster!

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