Airlines told to fight back

Emirates president Tim Clark has called for the airline industry to stop meekly accepting their image as the environmental "whipping boys". Speaking in a head-to-head with airline analyst John Strickland at World Travel Market on Tuesday, Clark said that airlines needed to work harder at publicising their positive aspects, such as the latest generation of fuel-efficient engines. "The industry is doing a lot behind the scenes to make the aircraft more environmentally compliant" he said. "Airlines are responsible for 2 or 3% of global emissions, compared to 75% from automotives… But the airlines have become the traditional whipping boys." Clark also issued a warning to those who overlooked the financial importance of the airline sector. "It is vital that the industry remains a major contributor to today’s global economy," he said. "If you continue to make life difficult for us then you must reap the whirlwind." He also called for greater cooperation between airlines and air traffic control so that journeys take more direct routes, which could cut a further 10-15% off flying times. "There have to be greater efficiencies from the stakeholders on the ground," Clark said. "As a community we need to help ourselves a bit more in trying to get the message across about us not being the bad guys."

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