Tim Clark, CEO of the United Arab Emirates' flag carrier Emirates Airlines, poses for photographers before a news conference in Berlin March 5, 2015. AFP PHOTO / TOBIAS SCHWARZ
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Emirates president Tim Clark said he's bracing for a "gathering storm" as low-cost airlines encroach on the intercontinental routes around which the biggest long-haul carrier has built its business. Dubai-based Emirates sees threats across all markets from rivals spanning Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA to the Scoot unit of Singapore Airlines Ltd., Clark said Thursday in Berlin. Short-haul planes are becoming more attractive to Emirates as Boeing's 737 Max model and the Airbus A320neo series offer significant gains in fuel efficiency and increase their flying range, Clark said, adding that the jets would be an option for serving a "bigger, more robust" Middle East market.The new Al Maktoum International hub will greatly increase flexibility but won't be occupied by Emirates until well into next decade. The near-250-strong Emirates fleet currently consists solely of Boeing 777 jets and Airbus A380 superjumbos ill-suited to serving shorter routes, with the carrier ranking as the biggest operator of both types.
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