The US campaign against Gulf carriers is running out of steam as the presidential election looms closer, Emirates president Tim Clark said on Tuesday.
“As far as I can see…remember [the row] started in February 2015 and here we are in the middle of May 2016 [and over that time] we have increased our production into the US; opened Orlando, and we’ve put more and more 380s in to the US,” Clark said.
“So I guess the answer is, well, I don’t think really [the campaign] has succeeded, has it? And as the US administration comes to the back end of its days, I wonder whether they’ve got the appetite to take it on at this stage?”
Emirates plans to keep expanding in the US:
“We are looking at American points and are looking at increasing production at existing ones, so we haven’t stopped. We are looking at many US destinations - I am not going to say which ones they are, but we’ve made [our ambitions] quite clear. We’ve got 10 at present and we always said we needed 20.”
On the A380 routes, he said the following:
The airline will keep the A380 on its Dubai to Houston route despite the negative impact of the falling oil price, Clark added.
“As you know, we switched it off Dallas and put it on to our Washington service because clearly the oil and gas sector in Texas was suffering.
“At the moment, the Houston operation on the A380 is in good shape – it is not as good as it was but we can’t have it all ways all of the time.”