Tim Clark, Emirates Airline

Tim Clark

The Man With The Plan

When Tim Clark arrived in Dubai in 1985 from then local goliath Gulf Air to help the airline’s founding fathers create Emirates, he was tasked with running the planning department.

After quickly establishing a reputation for being a far-sighted network planner, he went on to become chief director of the airline and then, from 2003, its president.

Clark makes no secret of his love for the airline industry and how much pleasure he has had helping to create such a force in the market place.

However, he admits he is now “the wrong side of 60” and acknowledges that “within the next few years, changes will have to be made”, at the Emirates Airline helm.

Although there is currently no succession plan drawn up, Clark is looking to the “good team of people” he has around him.

“I’m hoping that from some of those someone will emerge who can take over from me. Bringing somebody in from outside would be very difficult, because we think differently and do things differently here.”

The son of a merchant naval officer, Clark has always had an interest in air transport and shipping, and is a regular on cruises.

He admits the pressure of running Emirates means his spare time is “pretty minimal”, but his family is very strong for him.

“I’ve got a 12-year-old son, and grandchildren from my first marriage. I have many interests which I don’t have time to get involved in,” he says.

However, he confesses that even post-retirement, he thinks he will find it hard to drag himself away from the industry.

Key Facts

  • Emirates carried more than 31 million passengers in 2010, an increase of 14.5% on 2009.

  • Emirates has the largest Airbus A380 fleet of any airline with 15 of the type already in service and another 75 on order.

  • In FY 2010, Emirates Airline had an operating revenue of $14,800m, up from $11,831 in FY 2009.



In Pictures: Emirates Airline