June 4, 2018 / 10:30 PM / 14 days ago

Emirates airline facing "double whammy" on fuel, dollar - president

SYDNEY, June 5 (Reuters) - The president of Emirates airline said the rare combination of higher fuel prices and a stronger dollar - which more usually move in opposite directions - represented a “double whammy” for the group and this would have to be managed.

“We have very strong summer bookings at higher prices,” Tim Clark said during a briefing on the sidelines of an aviation industry meeting in Sydney, adding that the airline was monitoring trends for any sign that higher ticket prices were leading to a drop in demand.

Global airlines body IATA on Monday downgraded its profit forecast for the industry, citing higher oil and labour costs, although said yields, a proxy for air fares, are expected to rise by 3.2 percent this year.

Clark said he expected to make a decision soon on engines for the carrier’s latest order of A380 super jumbos. The planes are due for delivery from 2020.

The General Electric and Pratt & Whitney Engine Alliance venture powers most Emirates A380s, but it lost out to competitor Rolls-Royce on the latest deliveries.

Clark said the Rolls-Royce Trent 900 engines on its A380s has shown good performance on maintenance since being introduced to the Emirates fleet 14-15 months ago. However, Emirates has delayed some A380 deliveries to allow for fix to a fan blade problem.

He also said that pilot availability is back to normal after an internal planning issue. (Reporting by Tim Hepher Editing by Victoria Bryan)

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