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Emirates’ Tim Clark Slams Airlines Over Poor Use of Airbus A380

Emirates’ President Sir Tim Clark has always been a strong advocate of the A380 and says Airbus will rue the day it cancelled the superjumbo program. In an exclusive interview with Andreas Spaeth in Berlin on the eve of his upcoming 70th birthday and ahead of the Dubai Air Show, he reflected on the past, present and future of the A380 in the first of a two-part series. ( More...

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I just miss the L1011.
Has Lockheed ever made a bad airplane? If so, I must have missed it. The only problem with Lockheed is that they charge too much for their superior products.
Kobe Hunte 6
If these planes had a cargo version they would be much, much more profitable. The amount of cargo 747s is scary.
Have seen a passenger 747 only. There is a Captain Joe video that shows the 747 cargo space, and I definitely agree that it's creepy. It opens from the nose rather than from the side.
w2bsa 1
The cargo version of the 747 is purposely designed for cargo use. Hence the nose opening. The 747-8 is a purpose built cargo aircraft and that’s the only way they are selling it. Both, FedEx and UPS are purchasing them to replace their currently aging fleet.
lesoreilly 2
I thought that Lufthansa has 747-8 pax as well??
they are not a good design for cargo -- for their size and fuel consumption, they cannot carry much cargo weight. Airbus attempted to market a cargo version as a package freighter for fedex or ups (geberally lighter weight relative for cargo volume), but initial orders for that version fell through and they stopped development
Kikutwo 5
I never got to fly 747 somehow. Had Emirates tickets for Greece we had to cancel. Re-booked a 4 leg all A380 trip NYC to NRT. Now that is the long way home for sure, but I was able to get all four legs in the forward most economy cabin, such a private feel with so many passengers in other parts of the plane. This plane was amazing, absorbed turbulence like a big SUV absorbs potholes. Amazing flights, will never forget it. Compared to an A350 RT we also did another year, the 350 was like a speedster or Ferrari and the 380 like a big Benz. Travesty that this plane is going away. Or is it?
Roy Corrales 5
Agree with you. I've been in all Boeing's including 747's and also all Airbus models. Nothing will beat the Emirates A380 comfort even in economy that we've experienced recently flying ZRH-DXB-BKK. We will back to Dubai tomorrow again in the 380 and I just can wait to jump inside. What an amazing soft airplane to fly. I'ts going to be missed :(
Chris B 5
I wonder how Air France feels about being so publicly dissed by another airline executive.

Payback always comes to those that wait.
robin cooper 5
well he is a Brit!!!!!!!
Emirates is the richest airline in the world. Of course it happens all the time.
airuphere 7
I recall when they were first modelled as hub to hub transit. Like he said glam them up and use them to get twice the amount of people in half the available slots at the busiest airports.. they do have a need for certain airlines for sure
Ron Nash 9
When you've bought over 100 Ford Edsels for taxis, you have to keep justifying why you bought them, even though everyone else won't touch them. Just 90% availability of the aircraft for the first 10 years of its life, would be enough to make me return all of them, if they were mine. Clark conveniently forgets all the hangarage hassles, runway strength hassles, maintenance equipment hassles, and sheer massive size problems that airports had with the A380. It must be great having a money bin 10 times the size of Scrooge McDucks, to run an airline that never actually makes money - it doesn't have to, when the gas and oil petrodollar pipeline, is the biggest the world has ever seen.
steve kent 2
What utter rubbish! firstly an A380 uses less fuel per passenger than the 787 and the availability if you buy plenty of them is 99.5%. Emirates airline makes money, lots of it, the accounts are there for all to see. Dubai has very little oil and gas and the Emirates group is a major income stream for Dubai. The only state help the airline has received was in the first few years, with 2 aircraft purchases, it certainly is not reliant on the UAE.
s2v8377 17
Of course he likes the A380 his airline is subsidized by government. The A380s a great plane if you don't have to make money.
Definitely agree.
David Seider 3
Dear Sir Tim:
You can run 'your' airline the way 'you' want to, and I'll run my airline the way that I want to.
Thank you very much for your concern.
John Anderson 3
One thing that hasn’t been mentioned is the extra spacing needed behind an A380 due to wake turbulence. Unless something has changed in the last 18 months, ATC has to allow 8 miles behind the A380 even with a “normal” heavy like a 74 or 77, where the latte two only require four miles.

Aerodromes also have to be specially modified to accept the additional weight and size of the A380.
George Gould 3
Need a answer to the growing pilot shortage or a lot of other aircraft besides the 380 will stay on the ground.
Greg Huston 3
Pilot shortage? I think that’s fake news. Seriously I graduated from ERAU almost 20 years ago the pilot guys I graduated with that went the airline route are still in the regionals making crap pay. There’s no shortage of pilots for wide bodies and long haul routes. The regionals might be struggling to get or keep pilots but that’s only due to the crap pay, schedule and way they treat the pilots
There's no shortage of folks holding CPLs. There IS a shortage of folks who have the time to be making crap pay while flying the red-eye flights out of Bismark and Little Rock on Christmas Eve for the first 5-7 years of their career. That was why I got out of aviation 10 years ago.

We pilots put as much blood, sweat, tears, and money into our careers as any doctor or lawyer, but it takes us a heck of a lot longer to reap the benefits!
strickerje 0
I’ve always wondered why the starting pay is still so low when we’ve been hearing about pilot shortages for a decade or so - sounds like a basic supply and demand problem.
lesoreilly 4
They are also trapped in a Pay Scale tied to Union Contracts.....So good luck seeing any of the Top payed pilots giving up money so that they can raise the entry far as they are concerned they paid their dues and now deserve to be drastically compensated.....They need to reboot the whole system but good luck seeing anyone vote for that....
The Airbus A380 is a giant but also a good aircraft. Why throw it away when it has some useful life left with most of its operators?
I think Airbus is still losing money on them, even the last ones on order.
Nath Khodadad 4
only an airline that can fit showers in their first-class section, and thus carry large amounts of water
must be heavily subsidized by their UAE owners!!!!!
bentwing60 4
The lofty opinion sir tim has always held for himself will not be universally acknowledged by those who early on decided that the a380 may be the "King" in size but felt it would be anything but the "King" where profits were concerned for their major airlines without a rich daddy. Most other airline execs. don't have a king!

Given the haranguing and caterwauling here and elsewhere over the past year, I'm somewhat surprised that no one has told us what an idiot "Herb" was for basing an entire airline on the 737. Some folks like to rewrite history based on their fervent belief that the rest of us have an acute shortage of RAM. Taint necessarily so.
SootBox 5
Go buy up all the planes being taken out of service, knock yourself out, pennies on the dollar.
cowboybob 6
maybe Sir Timmy should go build aircraft then if he has all the answers...methinks he doth protest too much. Sounds like a guy trying to justify why his company owns so many...and is really worried about his legacy.
I flew Lufthansa's A-380 last month LAX - Munich and I have to say it was amazing. Got a tour of the flight deck and the cool pilot digs. The service was the best, and the look alike Princess Dianna FA ..well I fell hard :)
Hope it was impressive-looking.
indy2001 6
Why does this clown get so much press? He thinks he is God's gift to aviation, but his success at Emirates has been due to the mountains of UAE government largesse that he receives as much as it has been his strategic planning or the A380. I've flown on the A380 and it just seemed like another aircraft to me. I enjoyed the B787 and the A350 at least as much and felt much fresher after long flights. Airbus is a smart enough company to see the A380 hasn't lived up to expectations and would just like to see the program end, but Clark just can't shut up about it and leave them be.
matt jensen 3
To diss the A380, you must have been in steerage or row 86
indy2001 4
Try Business Class smart guy. It was OK, but after you get over the size the A380 feels like just another big aircraft.
Roy Hunte 2
Or traveled in the cargo hold.
Why don't you try economy. Soooooooooo much more comfortable compared to any boeing (apart from the 747). Even the 787 is much noisier and uncomfortable inside than any airbus.
The only advantage I have noticed with the boeings is that their cruise speed is in general about 80 to 100 knots higher than the Airbuses, so you get there quicker.
Austin60 8
You guys do realize that the airline specs the interior, right? You may find more difference between carriers on widebody aircraft than you will between types or brands. Narrow body. will be pretty similar.
Why do no U.S. airlines fly the A380? Because the U.S. government does neither subsidize nor own a U.S. airline. Can anyone name an Airline that has made a profit with the A380?
Gary Berrian 1
From an Engineering and Maintenance standpoint.
The aircraft requires lots of folks to maintain and ground handle this type. The interior is massive, IFE is a nightmare depending on which vendor is installed, a two hour turn is almost impossible to do, you need a minimum of 3 hours.
When the Aircraft pushes back at IAD it has to be escorted by Airport Ops down the Taxiway everyday because the wing span is just to big. System integration is pretty stable and reliable. The 747-400 beats this aircraft with cargo any time.
Retired Eng.
Jim DeTour 0
Airbus selling parts will be happier. There aircraft production lines profit more spending time and money on other crafts undoubtedly.


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