Sir Timothy Clark, President, Emirates Airline, has addressed travel and tourism delegates at Arabian Travel Market 2023. Speaking on the Global Stage with renowned aviation commentator John Strickland, Clark discussed the resurgence in passenger numbers that is being witnessed by the airline industry worldwide, as well as the opportunities and challenges ahead.
Addressing the performance of Emirates in the post-pandemic era, Clark said: “We used the period during the pandemic to carefully organise our resources and devise a solid plan which allowed us to kick-start as soon as skies opened again. After 30 years of operating the world’s largest airline and as one of the flagship carriers of the UAE, there simply was no option to sit back and stop.”
In the last quarter, Dubai has welcomed five million visitors, already exceeding pre-pandemic numbers. According to Clark, demand will continue to be as robust as it has been recently, and the leisure and hospitality sectors will see a big uptick in the next five to 10 years.
As ATM 2023 focuses on ‘Working Towards Net Zero’ Clark touched on the airline’s sustainability strategy: “The fuel from the aviation industry accounts for 2-2.5% of global emissions. As passenger numbers grow, so must our efforts to mitigate our carbon footprint. Emirates runs a number of sustainability initiatives across the business. Our first flight using Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) took to the skies in 2017 and earlier this year we operated a demonstration flight using 100% SAF. We also recycled 500,000 kilograms of plastic and glass over the course of 2022. As far as we can, we try to offset.”
Elsewhere on the agenda:
On the Travel Tech Stage, day three of ATM 2023 opened with a look at the Investment Trends Leading Travel Tech, while Strategic Sustainability Planning was the focus of discussion this morning at The Sustainability Hub. As ATM celebrates 30 years, speakers gathered on the Global Stage today to reflect on the past three decades of tourism in the Emirates during The Success of Tourism for the UAE: 30 Years On.
The momentum continues for the final day of ATM 2023 tomorrow with a diverse schedule of insightful sessions. On the Global Stage, the day will begin with a panel discussion on the benefits of engaging young people in the tourism industry, with an emphasis on preparing for sustainable goals.
There are also a number of sessions taking place on the Travel Tech Stage tomorrow based around the theme, ‘Bridging the Gap in Technology’, covering areas such as NDC and ChatGPT among many others. A session on Rural Tourism is set to be a highlight of the final day at the Sustainability Hub.