Emirates will hold off from introducing transpacific services between points outside its Dubai hub until economies around the world have recovered.
Concerns over inflicting collateral damage on rivals are a factor in the Middle Eastern carrier's strategy.
“We have the aero-political rights from points in Asia and from the USA to do it. Is the timing right? Probably not,” says Emirates Airline president Tim Clark.
He acknowledges that such a move would not sit well with rivals, and Emirates has already suffered a backlash in Italy over the introduction of services between Milan and New York: "I thought this would be a relatively easy aero-political exercise – two relatively underserved cities, and the Italians asked us to do it.
"Alitalia took us to court, but we’re just doing what we were asked to do."
Clark says that Emirates is ready to introduce transpacific services, but is concerned about inflicting damage on rival Asian and US carriers in the prevailing economic conditions.
"When you start straying into the markets of others, you’ve got to be a little bit careful because our mantra has always been that we would increase the size of the pie," says Clark.
"I’ve got to be absolutely satisfied that if we do, that it’s going to be equilibrium as far as [competitors are] concerned. So we’ll wait for the global economies to start picking up, so that the transpacific operations become as good as they were prior to the meltdown, and there is room for others."