Emirates CEO calls for airline summit in MH17 aftermath

Victoria
By Victoria July 22, 2014 09:44

Emirates CEO calls for airline summit in MH17 aftermath

Speaking in the wake of the MH17 disaster, Emirates CEO Tim Clark has called for airlines to join together to lobby regulators and governments to assist airlines in planning routes around regional conflict zones.

“The international airline community needs to respond as an entity, saying this is absolutely not acceptable and outrageous, and that it won’t tolerate being targeted in internecine regional conflicts that have nothing to do with airlines”, Clark said.

Clark also called for IATA to organize a conference to investigate what changes need to made in the way the industry tackles regional instability.

Clark said: “If you go East to West or vice-versa between Europe and Asia, you are likely to run into areas of conflict. We have traditionally been able to manage this. Tripoli and Kabul were attacked, Karachi was attacked and we have protocols and contingencies and procedures to deal with this. That was up until three days ago. Now I think there will have to be new protocols and it will be up to ICAO and IATA and the aviation community to sort out what the protocols have to be.”

Clark also dismissed suggestions that airliners should be equipped with anti-missile countermeasures: “Some people say aircraft should be armed with counter devices. That will go absolutely nowhere. If we can’t operate aircraft in a free and unencumbered manner without the threat of being taken down, then we shouldn’t be operating at all.”

Additionally, he said, national regulators “may start getting involved a little more than they have. They have perhaps left airlines to their own devices. They can’t [close airspace], but they can issue advisories and they may be a little more active. Yes, the airline industry was aware there was shooting at a low level and assumed these were low-grade surface-to-air weapons. This was wrong as we now know; but nobody in their wildest dreams thought anybody could have done [such a] calculating act of mass murder.”

Clark also said that the Ukraine disaster should not be allowed to eclipse or diminish efforts to find MH370.

Victoria
By Victoria July 22, 2014 09:44
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