“It is an important problem for Portugal, […] we need to recognise it and deal with the issue, instead of politicising the debate. Do it, build it and they [the airlines] will come”, said Tim Clark, in an interview with Lusa, Expresso and Eco, on the sidelines of the World Aviation Festival, in Lisbon.

Asked about the different options being analysed, the president of the United Arab Emirates airline highlighted that “it is to Lisbon that the international aviation community wants to fly”, since that is where its market is.

“If they had unrestricted access and an airport that could handle all of this […] they would be double the numbers”, pointed out Tim Clark.

The limitations of Humberto Delgado Airport, where Emirates has “two precious slots”, are, according to the official, a problem for all airlines.

“If you're going to build another airport, build it. Build it big enough”, highlighted the airline’s president, adding that this is a “fantastic opportunity” to make an airport that is technologically advanced and efficient in terms of its carbon footprint.

As for Porto, Emirates intends to return to Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport, where it has already been, as soon as it has the entire fleet in operation.