Emirates President Sir Tim Clark said British Airways was dealt a “dose of bad luck” after it revealed today that it had data stolen from 380,000 accounts which were hacked from 21 August to 5 September.
During an industry game-changer interview this morning at the Aviation Festival in London, Sir Tim warned that as airlines continue down the digital road there was going to be more threats and breaches.
“As we go down this digital transformation that we go down the exposer becomes greater,” he said. “We have to resource that and it is about building IT architecture. At Emirates we have strengthened and added resources to the cyber security units.
“The fact is if you do not spend time and money you are going be hugely exposed. We have have to do better in what we do and we will.”
Sir Tim said if an airline does not deliver more it will run the risk of “oblivion”. However, he said the industry is investing in digital technology and more and more airlines are taking on digital transformation.
The Emirates president also talked of the future of supersonic aircraft but believes “we are still a long way out” from the viability of supersonic commercial airline flights.
“We are not there yet a weight and thrust that can be delivered at viable costs for the larger number of passengers that are required,” he added.
Sir Tim also spoke about the need for aircraft to be developed to particularly suit low-cost operations. “Sometimes (airlines are) dictated to by manufacturers of aircraft capability rather than going away and building what airlines want,” he said.
He also talked of his own airline’s digital development. “50 per cent of our processes are redundant. External and internal development are necessary. Some of the big tech companies are interested in what we do and you engage with them on partnerships. And there are start-up, the intellectual powers.”
Sir Tim also talked of some of the limitation of the passenger service system. “We must as a community be able to communicate with our passengers on a direct basis. We must construct the systems of our company with the proper data analytics to understand what actually drives demand,” he said.
The Aviation Festival finishes today at the Business Design Centre in Islington, London.