Emirates Airline President Sir Timothy Clark speaks during ceremonies at Logan International Airport in Boston. Emirates Airline launched daily service between Boston and Dubai on Monday afternoon. Image Credit: AP

Boston: Emirates has seen a better financial year this time round compared to last year, profitable returns and a strong balance sheet, the president of the airline, Sir Tim Clark, said on Tuesday.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of the launch of the Dubai-Boston route, Clark said: “In the last two years we have opened routes to 27 cities, we have taken on 44 aircraft, many of those [Airbus] A380s. Production has grown, and along with this profits have grown — an incredible feat. The high points of last year and the year before was the ability of the company to grow the business to the extent that we have, keep things profitable and keep the balance sheet strong. That’s what you will see at the end of this financial year.”

But he added that growth sometimes brings its own problems especially in aeropolitics. “Emirates has become an extremely well-known global aviation brand. It is now the number one airline brand in the world. That brings great kudos and problems because people are concerned about us and try to block what we do and we spend time trying to deal with that,” Clarke said.

Rules of the game

Emirates launched its 8th route to the US and its 142nd destination on its global network when it began a daily flight to Boston’s Logan International Airport on Monday.

Calling Emirates the cheapest, lowest cost operation of its type in the world today, Clark said when the airline was set up in 1985, “one of the rules of the game was that we should keep our costs at such a level that we can grow our products in a manner that will keep it in demand with our consumers while costs are kept down. We have stuck to that.”

However, he said the airline has not been able to expand its capacity into key markets like India, despite persistent requests. He added that no new seats have been given to the airline since 2008, and it has been flying to India for six years at 90 per cent capacity today. “They have given us 11,000 seats for Dubai that has to be shared between flydubai and Emirates. We had asked for 30,000 seats for starters and multiple points in India, in addition to what we have at the moment. We didn’t get any of those,” Clark said.

Aviation hub

Reiterating the importance of the US market for the airline, he said that operations to the US have been successful and were growing all the time. “We have the A380s flying to New York and Los Angeles. They were never designed to fly distances like this with the payloads that we have, and it’s because of the work that we have done on the plane with the manufacturers that we have 485 passengers from LA everyday.”

He, however, ruled out an aviation hub in the US and said the airline was not seeking to expand other than organically. Clark also ruled out an all-economy class flight or an all-business class flight.