Emirates has announced that long-standing president Sir Tim Clark will step down in June after 35 years with the airline.
The carrier’s chairman Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum revealed Clark’s retirement in an internal memo sent to staff in December, saying he would remain an advisor after his departure.
Clark was a founding member of Emirates, joining in 1985 as head of airline planning. He was instrumental in developing the carrier’s route network, which paved the way for the company to become a major international airline.
He became president of the carrier in 2003 and has in recent years overseen an overhaul of the Emirates fleet following the decision to reduce its A380 order from 162 to 123, prompting Airbus to begin planning to cease production on the super jumbo aircraft.
Clark was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the Queen’s 2014 New Year Honours for services to British prosperity and to the aviation industry.
In the staff memo, which was first seen by Bloomberg, Sheikh Ahmed said: “Through wars, economic recessions, disasters natural or man-made, and various industry upheavals, Tim has ably steered and grown Emirates to its standing today.”
According to local media, Emirates has yet to indicate how it plans to appoint Clark’s successor.
Emirates has been profitable for more than three decades, but Sheikh Ahmed said 2018-19 was a “tough” year owing to higher fuel prices and a stronger US dollar.