Clark also tells Aviation Week he considered buying a stake in Air Berlin a year ago, about the same time as rival Etihad Airways was negotiating its 29.2% stake in the German airline.
Clark says that buying into Air Berlin would have been “not without risks”, and would have required more management involvement that Emirates deemed acceptable.
“In the end we felt we were strong enough to support the amount of flights we are doing [into Europe],” Clark says. “So why would you throw €500 million [$641 million] at it?”
He concedes, however, that there might be “some measurable benefit for Etihad because the flows are coming through.”
Emirates’ analysis of Air Berlin’s finances a year ago came to the conclusion that “the cash position was looking shaky, but the business plan with regards to fleet and labor was salvageable,” says Clark.
“For me it was salvageable.”