Emirates airline sees more opportunities to fly in Europe

Wed Jun 10, 2015 5:34pm EDT
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By Alwyn Scott

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Emirates airline [EMIRA.UL] sees an opportunity to increase direct flights from Europe to cities other than its Dubai hub, but its chief executive said he is concerned about harming struggling European carriers.

Emirates also is actively considering a large purchase of Airbus (AIR.PA: Quote) A350 aircraft and Boeing (BA.N: Quote) 787s to replace older Boeing 777 widebody aircraft that will begin retiring in 2017.

"We're just concluding our performance assessments," of the Airbus (AIR.PA: Quote) and Boeing (BA.N: Quote) aircraft, Clark said in an interview following a speech in New York. He declined to say when the airline would place orders.

Clark said governments, airports and organizations in Europe frustrated with local airlines have asked Emirates to start offering international service from their airports, but that he is not planning to do so.

"The opportunity is there if we want it," he said.

"If I was to put the (Airbus super-jumbo) A380 through multiple points in Europe, we would clean out the business like a Dyson hoover," he added, referring to a vacuum cleaner.

"I don't want to do that."

The remarks on Europe come as Emirates and two other Gulf carriers under attack from their U.S. rivals for allegedly competing unfairly by receiving state subsidies.   Continued...

An Emirates Airlines flight lands at San Francisco International Airport, San Francisco, California, April 16, 2015.   REUTERS/Louis Nastro