Emirates' Clark hits back at US subsidy claims
Tim Clark, President of Dubai-based airline Emirates has reacted to allegations that subsidies made by the three largest US carriers, Delta, American Airlines and United Airlines are distorting trade.
In a 55-page dossier presented to the American government, they have called for the renegotiation or suspension of Open Skies liberalisation deals with the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. These arrangements allow give airlines from both sides the right to fly pretty much wherever and whenever they want. However the American carriers are claiming that three Gulf carriers — Emirates and Etihad of the UAE and Qatar Airways – changed their strategy after the deals were negotiated, becoming global hubs rather than regular national carriers and threatening the rest of the industry,
Clark denied that Emirates, founded in 1985, had changed its spots and said its growth and strategy were discussed openly during the trade talks that led to the 1999 Open Skies deal. He said it was the United States that had pioneered such agreements and Emirates had invested heavily in aircraft, mainly from Boeing, as a result. “We have invested heavily in the US aerospace industry and a lot of what we have done with regard to market access has allowed us to go and place these orders, for which we have contracts in place,” Clark said.
Emirates has ordered a total of 289 Boeing wide-body jets, including 199 that have yet to be delivered. It is also the largest single customer of European aerospace giant Airbus. “Delta is maligning us, leading people down a path which is based on unsubstantiated false allegations and that is very serious. It could be commercially damaging to us and if it is we will consider … all our options,” Clark said.
He called for publication and a right of response to the 55-page report. He also rejected claims that Gulf carriers had been able to take market share from U.S. airlines, saying it was they that had missed the boat on globalisation. “Emirates does its own thing. It supplies a quality product which knocks spots off any American product,” Clark said. “Why should we match their prices when we don’t need to?”
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.