Emirates Airline President Sir Tim Clark will retire at the end of June 2020 after more than 30 years in charge of the state-owned airline.
In a memo released to staff on Tuesday by Emirates Chairman, Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum and seen by CNBC, Sir Tim will step down from his position, yet remain working for the airline as an advisor.
When speaking about Tim Clark’s time with the airline, Sheikh Ahmed is quoted by the New York Times as saying:
“Through wars, economic recessions, disasters natural or man-made, and various industry upheavals, Tim has ably steered and grown Emirates to its standing today as the world’s largest international airline, and an eminent player in the global airline industry.”
Emirates started with two planes from Pakistan International Airlines
Now 70-years-old, Clark joined the airline as a founding member in 1985 after having already worked for Caledonian Airways and Bahrain based Gulf Air. When asked for his view on Sir Tim’s retirement, independent aviation consultant John Strickland told the Times the following:
“Tim is a giant of the industry. He had the vision behind Emirates and has cultivated the airline to where it is today.”
When the Gulf state carrier first started flying, it only had two aircraft wet-leased from Pakistan International Airlines: A new Boeing 737-300 and a used Airbus A300 B4-200.
Sir Tim Clark became Emirates’ president in 2003
Today, Emirates has helped turn Dubai into an international destination, surpassing London’s Heathrow Airport in 2014 as the world’s busiest airport for international travel. Once a humble refueling stop, Dubai International Airport (DXB) now acts as a crossroads between Europe and Asia.
Last year, Emirates carried close to 60 million passengers. It operates a fleet of 270 aircraft flying to 159 destinations around the world including the largest fleet of Airbus A380s.
Thanks to his leadership and a firm grip on where Dubai and the aviation world was headed, the University of London graduate was made President of Emirates in 2003, a title he still holds today.
Clark helped establish Emirates extensive route network
Prior to becoming President, Sir Tim was in charge of establishing the airline’s route network, which is the basis for the airline’s success.
Sir Tim’s achievements did not go unnoticed, with the British national receiving a knighthood for his services to British prosperity and the aviation industry in the 2014 New Year’s honors list.
As a member of Dubai’s ruling family, Sheikh Ahmed has been with the airline since its inception and credits Sir Tim for building the airline up to what it is today.
“His achievements are too many to recount individually, but they will all be remembered,” he said in the memo.
As Clark prepares to depart Emirates he leaves the airline with a clear vision for the future that involved replacing its Airbus A380 jets with more fuel-efficient Airbus A350s and Boeing 787s.