We are preparing for a fourth wave of Covid from Europe: the President of the Emirates

The president of the Emirates has said that he sees a fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic coming from Europe concerning the airline.

In a speech to CNBC on the Dubai Air Show, Emirates President Tim Clark said: “I see a fourth wave coming through and we have all kinds of concerns about what might happen.”

“We have to look at it very carefully, because if the European markets – which have already started to open up to a large extent ̵[ads1]1; start to go the other way, we have to deal with it. But we will deal with it. With that… we are very “We’re good at getting around problems, and we just want to do what we have to do,” he told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble.

Earlier this month, the WHO warned that Europe was once again the epicenter of the Covid pandemic. The region’s largest economy, Germany, currently reports around 50,000 new coronavirus cases a day, and France has also reported an increase in cases. In the meantime, Austria is expected to soon introduce lock-in restrictions for millions of unvaccinated people in an attempt to curb growing infections.

Airlines have hoped the Dubai Air Show marks a turning point for the industry after a devastating period. It is the first major space exhibition that has taken place since the start of the coronavirus pandemic that saw travel restrictions around the world destroy the industry.

The International Air Transport Association said last month that the global aviation industry is expected to lose nearly $ 12 billion next year. IATA, which represents nearly 300 airlines that operate more than 80% of the world’s air traffic, added that industrial losses in 2020 were worse than first thought, reaching $ 137.7 billion.

However, Clark said that Emirates was already experiencing a significant increase in demand and had started making money.

“We are coming back with a high degree of, I dare say, robustness,” he said. “Demand is returning at such a pace that we honestly have trouble trying to deliver the assets because we lack pilots, we lack cabin crew, we lack just about everything. But there is no shortage of demand, it’s a very good story.”

Clark highlighted the difficulties Emirates faced in hiring enough staff to meet this demand, after a number of employees were laid off in the midst of the pandemic.

“You’re talking about supply chain disruptions, you’re talking about gross distortions in the labor markets,” he said, adding that he expected a certain sense of normality to return towards the end of 2022 and early 2023. “I think then … the heat will “Get out of the situation. I hope so.”

Another potential headwind for the airlines is higher oil prices. The demand shock triggered by the Covid pandemic caused Brent prices to fall to $ 20 a barrel; they now trade over $ 80 per barrel.

But Clark said he was not confused. “Of course, $ 80 – we’ve been there before. We’ve been a lot higher than that before,” he added. “At the moment we control it. There are some who can guess what will happen; I think we have about 15 months of turbulence, but we will manage.”

– CNBC’s Leslie Joseph contributed to this report.

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