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Thu 9 Sep 2010 04:09 PM

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Emirates record A380 jet order 'not enough' - Clark

Dubai based carrier has expanded its traffic growth sixfold in the last decade.

Emirates record A380 jet order 'not enough' - Clark
NOT ENOUGH: Emirates president has said that the airlines record A380 jet order is not enough to cope with demand. (Getty Images)

Emirates, the world’s biggest airline by international traffic, said its order for 90 Airbus SAS A380 superjumbos won’t be enough to take up the demand for its services.

The jets on order “are well spoken for and frankly, the way things are going for us at the moment, the 90 certainly won’t be enough,” president Tim Clark said in a phone interview today.

He added: “Demand for our services seems to be continuing to grow apace. We’re moving forward very robustly.”

The carrier, already the biggest customer for Airbus’s 517 seat plane, has expanded its traffic growth sixfold in the last decade by connecting international passengers through its Dubai hub. Emirates is also the biggest operator of Boeing Co’s 777 long range jet.

Emirates has 12 Airbus A380’s in its fleet, with another three to be delivered by November. Deliveries will then restart in September of next year, with the carrier receiving planes through November 2017.

Clark said the pace of development at Dubai airport, which last year handled 41 million passengers and ranked as the 17th largest hub in world, was one of the main obstacles to growth.

The executive said: “There is no point trying to bring airplanes at a time when you have no place to put your passengers."

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Airline Buff 9 years ago

I fly with Emirates about once a fortnight, either regionally or further afield, and I cant remember that last time I saw one of their flights even close to full. In addition to this if they are as under capacity as Mr Clark says then why are they not taking any 380's between November this year and September 2011? If you look at the order schedule for the 380 (you can find it in Google) it doesn't show that many other carriers receiving the airframe during this time...surely if Emirates were in desperate need of them they could speed up delivery (after all the Government of Dubai is a shareholder in Airbus parent EADS). Also, they are scheduled to retire their A330's early next year.....again, if they had capacity issues then they could delay this until the 380's come on board? In respect of Mr Clark's comments regarding capacity at Dubai International, again this never seems to be as busy as it used to be (try going through Hartsfield in Atlanta or JFK...that's busy). Whenever I have disembarked a flight a large percentage of the passengers go straight to the transfers section and likely straight onto other aircraft, thereby minimizing the strain on the airport as a whole. It may well be that 41 million people 'pass through' however, to imply that the airport 'handles' this number (i.e. has to provide infrastructure services to them) is a misconception. Perhaps a true barometer of how busy DXB International is can be reflected in the number of people who pass through the passport control desks? Perhaps someone would like to publish that number! IMHO this is just Mr Clark attempting to put some positive spin on his product in advance of some method of raising some of the $27bn he requires to satisfy their obligations through to 2017.

SCC 9 years ago

As your comments are based on personal, frequent experience, it's hard to dispute them. However, there's always an alternative viewpoint. Whilst I am no flag waver for Emirates, it staggers me how busy they are. I flew from Zurich yesterday and the plane had no seats spare. Likewise, a few weeks ago to BHX and also to Zurich again. In regular journeys to Australia, both Airbus and Boeing flights are near capacity. I hear similar stories from all around so I'm uncertain to where you are flying when the circumstances seem so markedly different from mine and everyone around me. DXB airport last night was overwhelmed, with 25+ people in queues at each passport counter. Certainly in terms of their hub marketing, EK seems to have it exactly right. Personally, I find it unfair we are charged excessively for flights originating from our home town, whereas the US & European flights offer amazingly good deals, hence the reason transit is so busy. That's their market, we don't count.

anil 9 years ago

I don't know what the previous airline buff is talking about. I have flown Dubai Toronto sector twice in the last three months on airbus 380 and both times the flight was FULL to capacity. There was not a single seat empty. The service was great and I would not fly any other airline. Prior to emirates I used to fly Swiss and there is no comparison. I think the way Duabi and Emirates are going both will do great. Well done Dubai and Emirates and keep it up. By the way I am a Canadian.

amplesou 9 years ago

I won,t be flyiong with emerates again ,why too expensive ! good cheaper option available ! emirates put up there allready expensive prices ,then i assume so they can buy more planes or is more debt time repayment! Mr clarks comments lead to more miss trust in the region with these comments ! who he trying to kid , himself?

Miyah 9 years ago

Terminal 3 is Emirates dedicated. It's ultra modern, efficient and 21st century comfortable. In essence, less people pass through, or appear too, as it's so efficient. Terminal 1 however, is incredibly busy. Maybe this explains why some find the terminal quieter.

KAR 9 years ago

As a frequent business traveler I must say EK route planning is superb and so as their ability to invest in new high-end hardware. But this is only one side of a successful product. The other side is soft skills where EK lacks big time. Ironically, the bosses at EK fail to understand that you just can’t buy everything “of the shelf”. Their service from telephone agents, ticketing staff, boarding agents to cabin crew is simply appalling to say the least. I really don’t want to narrate few incidents to prove my point as I have experienced so many that now I have simply stopped bothering about them and prefer convenience over service. But I did make a resolution long time ago - never to spend my own money on EK. There are many cheaper and better options available which deserve my hard-earned cash. If they want to be a highflyer, they have to identify the best available talent at every level, invest in them and make sure that they remain with them to serve their customers. It is a painstaking job and not easy. You have to have a vision and determination to achieve that. I am afraid with this level of human resources their success will be short lived as others in the region are catching up quickly and they have almost the same resources as EK. In the end only who invests in both areas will succeed.

Edward 9 years ago

Emirates has a very solid strategy and I think it will even become more successful. All EK flights I fly on are full, or near full. Their cabin service is a benchmark to other airlines. Their ticket booking website is the easiest to use; their baggage allowance is higher than most airlines; easy to use skywards miles.... I can go on! But what really made me a very loyal customer is how Emirates approached the volcanic ash crisis; they took care of their customers like no other airline did!

AlexT 9 years ago

I do have to say I agree with almost all the comments, yes there are all over the place, clever routing etc. expensive and BAD Service. Cost cuttings, Hyper marketing, can anyone smell an IPO coming up or it is just me!