Emirates Chairman believes demand could return to staggering pace by Q4 2021
Tim Clark shared his optimistic vision during his participation in Virtual ATM 2021
During the virtual version of the Arabian Travel Market, Tim Clark, President of Emirates, offered an honest perspective on the recovery of the aviation industry.
During a virtual conversation with aviation consultant John Strickland, Clark stated: “The ideal situation is that the vaccine program beats the virus by the fall of this year and we have some relief, then the demand will return at an astonishing rate. Low-cost (airlines) will benefit from travel within Europe, the domestic US market, the domestic China market, and international travel (too) will return in large numbers. "
“But the problem (with this scenario) will be twofold. The ability of airlines to meet demand when it comes and two, the conditionality of the country's access requirements, "he added.
On this last point, Clark explained that although there is a massive repressed demand, there may also be inhibitors. Some passengers may be nervous and concerned about variant strains of the Coronavirus, the situation in India, he said, is creating a ripple effect on the global economy.
Although airlines and airports have really gone to great lengths to "sanitize" the way they manage passenger welfare, mitigating risk through their protocols, that alone would not be enough.
"It's a question of how we navigate the next six months and if we get it right with an equitable distribution of vaccines, simplified and cheaper testing regimens, all of this leads to the theory that by the end of the year we will be back in business on some scale." , He said.
The executive then went on to talk about business travel, saying: “Business travel will return in absolute terms, but the segments will change. Airlines will have to adapt to the changing nature of demand. An a la carte menu for the business class that allows you to choose products at various prices to go with it is a smart idea. "
When Strickland asked about the long-term prospects for aviation, Clark ended on a challenging and positive note. "In the fullness of time, everything (the coronavirus) will disappear, it will be history."