Dubai: A top executive from Emirates Airline on Monday voiced his support for Boeing as the American manufacturer battles to get a global operational ban on its 737 Max’s lifted.
Tim Clark, president of Emirates Airline, said that Boeing has “an outstanding record — not just on safety, but on technology and improving outstanding aircraft.” He said the manufacturer created game-changing aircraft decades ago, and continues to do so.
Clark said he believes Boeing will be able to sort out the issues it currently has with the 737 Max’s, which are now grounded across the world after two fatal crashes involving the model.
Emirates Airline does not operate any 737 Max’s, but does own other larger Boeing models on its fleet. Still, the Dubai carrier is famous for its flagship Airbus A380 aircraft, which has allowed it to grow its long-haul services around the globe.
In mid-February this year, Airbus announced it would scrap production of its A380s as Emirates modified its A380 order to instead include more A350s and A330s. The two companies had long been in conversations about the future of the A380, with Emirates repeatedly asking for more assurances from Airbus.
On Monday, Clark elaborated on why the deal between the two fell through and had to be changed. He said that Emirates did not receive what it was promised from Airbus.
“If you roll back the clock to 2013 when we ordered our last 50 [A380s]… we were promised by Airbus a new aeroplane. Aerodynamically, it was much more potent… it was much lighter...certainly an aircraft that I thought was going to deliver between a 10 and 30 per cent reduction in its cost of operations. Unfortunately, none of this happened,” Clark said.
“What we were left with was a continuation of the aircraft that had been essentially designed and built in the 90s and in the last decade.”
Clark added that he was also concerned about the A380’s environmental footprint, as he expected the updated model to be more environmentally friendly.
Emirates earlier said it was “sad” to see A380 production scrapped, but had not explained why talks with Airbus fell through.