It has been announced that, after more than three decades with Emirates, President Sir Tim Clark will be stepping down from his position, to retire at the end of June 2020.

The news was reported in an internal email sent out by Emirates Chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum, which noted Clark will be stepping down from his position as President but will remain with the airliner as an adviser. When contacted by the media, Emirates spokespersons confirmed the details.

“Through wars, economic recessions, disasters natural or manmade 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 Chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum via Reuters

Sir Tim Clark was a founding member of the Emirates management team in 1985, he worked his way up the ranks until he was appointed president of the airline in 2003. His efforts, alongside other executive personnel, have driven the airline to become one the largest operators in the world.

Before joining Emirates in 1985, Clark had gained strong experience working in the industry at Gulf Air and Caledonian Airways.

At 70 years old, Clark is departing the airline as it prepares to undergo an enormous fleet evolution; retiring 777s and older A380s in favour of the upcoming 777X and the final eight A380s to be built. Additionally, Emirates has orders for the Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner; which will be pivotal in developing a modern, efficient fleet capable of operating more routes appropriately.

Throughout the 2000s Emirates became the largest operator of the A380 and its biggest supporter, with Sir Tim Clark even pushing Airbus for an A380neo. Without Clark’s work with the A380, during its development and service life cycle, it is believed that the aircraft would have been abandoned many years ago.

Emirates President Tim Clark to Retire in June 2020
Sam Chui with Sir Tim Clark for the 100th Emirates Airbus A380

Emirates has maintained profitability for the past 31 years, they have been crucial in putting Dubai on the map and its transformation into a prestigious financial and tourism centre. However, a slow down in growth, over the last few years, has left the airline implementing new policies to retain that profitability record; including the removal of staff discounted tickets for friends.

Emirates launched in 1985 with a new Boeing 737-300 and an Airbus A300B4, leased from Pakistan International Airlines. Today the airline operates a fleet of 270 aircraft to 159 destinations.

Sheikh Ahmed has praised Tim Clark for being central to the success of Emirates, also for Dubai’s emergence as a global hub for passengers travelling all around the world.

“His achievements are too many to recount individually, but they will all be remembered.”

Emirates Chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed al-Maktoum via Reuters

As a result of his services to British Prosperity and the aviation industry, Clark was knighted in 2014 and has since been referred to within the airline and the industry as “Sir Tim”.