John Strickland has 38 years of experience in the air transport industry, embracing all the major airline business models and holding senior positions with airlines including British Airways and KLMuk. He was instrumental in the decision by KLM to establish the low cost airline Buzz and in defining its network strategy. He founded JLS Consulting in 2003 to provide strategic advisory services for the air transport industry. Working internationally at Board Level, clients include airports, airlines, investors and other industry partners, who benefit from his expertise and excellent personal network. John is a leading commentator on the airline sector for media worldwide, providing informed business and financial analysis for the news agenda. He is seen regularly on channels including the BBC, Bloomberg and CNN.
Mr Clark has been in the civil aviation business for his whole professional career, having joined British Caledonian in 1972. In 1975, he moved to Gulf Air in Bahrain and subsequently in 1985 to Dubai where he became a member of the founding team of Emirates as Head of Airline Planning. In 2003, he became President of Emirates Airline. Until the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world in early 2020, Emirates was serving over 150 destinations in 85 countries with a fleet of 270 wide-bodied aircraft comprising the iconic Airbus A380s, and advanced Boeing 777s.
Between April 1998 and March 2008, Mr Clark was also the Managing Director of Sri Lankan Airlines, the latter position resulted from Emirates’ acquisition in April 1998 of a major stake in the airline with full management control. Mr Clark is Chairman of the Emirates Airline Foundation, which he was instrumental in founding. The Foundation strives to improve the welfare of disadvantaged children of the world. He holds a degree in Economics from London University and is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society. He also holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Middlesex, and an honorary degree from the Newcastle Business School at Northumbria University.
In the 2014 Queen’s New Year’s Honours list, Mr Clark was invested as a Knight of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (KBE) for services to British prosperity and to the aviation industry. In November 2009, he was conferred an “Officier de la Legion d’Honneur” by the French government for services to transport and aviation, and he holds the 2009 Gold Award from the Royal Aeronautical Society for his contribution to civil aerospace. At the 2011 Airline Business and Flightglobal Achievement Awards, he was recognised as “Leader of the year”, and in 2013, he received the Center for Aviation (CAPA) Legends award and was inducted into the CAPA Hall of Fame.