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Thu 26 Dec 2019 01:48 PM

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The two Emiratis most likely to succeed Tim Clark as Emirates boss

British aviation chief has announced that he will step down in June 2020

The two Emiratis most likely to succeed Tim Clark as Emirates boss

Emirates Airline president Tim Clark turned 70 years old last month and he has been credited with growing the Dubai Government-owned airline into one of the world’s biggest aviation brands.

Emirates Airline president Tim Clark announced this week he plans to retire in June next year after more than three decades with the Dubai-based airline.

The Emirates chief turned 70 years old last month and he has been credited with growing the Dubai Government-owned airline into one of the world’s biggest aviation brands.

“Through wars, economic recessions, disasters natural or man-made, and various industry upheavals, Tim has ably steered and grown Emirates to its standing today,” Emirates chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said in an internal memo.

Clark will remain with Emirates in an advisory role, but talk has already turned to his potential successor.

“My succession will be determined by the shareholder. When I choose to go that will be it,” he said in an interview last month with AirlineRatings.com.

“It is very big shoes for anyone in this seat. It may be better that people are more transitory than I have been… I am looking after fleet and general direction but gradually I pass it all over to people working closely with me for a long time like COO Adel Al Redha and CCO Adnan Kazim. I am testing it and it's working. If I would have to step out for reasons beyond my control the company would keep going. The Sheikh is quite content with that. If I could get a UAE national to replace me it would be good. Running a company this size by an expat is a bit embarrassing. We have a very strong cadre in our senior management, both national and expatriate. Now we are far more mature in our ability to deal with the succession,” he added.

Adel Ahmad Al Redha (above) was appointed chief operating officer (COO) in September this year. Looking after all the operational departments, this includes flight operations, service delivery, airport services, Emirates Engineering, crew manpower, aircraft procurement and the Emirates Flight Training Academy. He also looks after worldwide network operations, including crisis response. 

Al Redha has been with Emirates for 31 years and, according to the carrier’s website, “he has enhanced operational processes, capabilities and efficiencies within the airline; including the introduction of smart initiatives using advanced technology and artificial intelligence”.

Adnan Kazim (above) was appointed chief commercial officer (CCO) three months ago. He is responsible for worldwide commercial operations, including e-commerce, the Emirates Skywards loyalty programme and Emirates SkyCargo. 

He joined Emirates in 1992 as a management trainee and has successfully led the airline’s commercial operations in major markets such as the UAE, Switzerland, Pakistan and East Africa.

“He then transitioned into leadership roles in route and fleet planning, and governmental relations. He most recently held the role of divisional senior vice president, strategic planning, revenue optimisation & aeropolitical affairs,” according to his official biography.

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