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Gulf traffic flow accommodating Qatar rift: Emirates' Clark

While the Gulf political crisis centred on Qatar is continuing, Emirates Airline president Tim Clark believes traffic flows have stabilised to accommodate the situation.

The United Arab Emirates is one of several countries to have imposed a blockade on Qatar flights in early June.

Speaking during the Aviation Festival event in London on 7 September, Clark said that, following "initial traumas", the traffic flows had "settled down" and reached a "degree of equilibrium".

"People are not being deterred by what's happening," he says.

Clark adds that there has been a "redistribution" of the way in which passengers travel around the region.

But he says that, while the dispute had persisted for three months, Emirates had yet to determine whether it was benefiting from the circumstances.

Emirates has been coping with a slower economy in the Middle East which, says Clark, has resulted in a decline in corporate travellers. But he says the market is "coming back quite strongly".

He adds that the company is recovering swiftly from travel disruption arising from the US government travel and security restrictions. Emirates had cut capacity to several US cities.

"We've outperformed where we thought we'd be," he says.

Clark expects Emirates will have restored capacity on the affected routes, to the levels prior to the restrictions, in around six to nine months.

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