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Paul Clark is recognised as a leading specialist in airline strategy and operation, aircraft evaluation, and fleet planning.

He is a senior associate and consultant at UK based Aviation Consulting Group.

Paul started his working life in 1972 when he joined British Rail in the United Kingdom. He held a variety of positions in the Operations Department of the former Southern Region, including a spell as Assistant to the International Traffic Officer at the British Railways Board headquarters in London.

In 1984, armed with a Masters degree in Transportation Planning and Management from the University of Westminster, he moved to Toulouse, France, to join the fledgling Airbus Industrie. As Senior Analyst, and later Marketing Analysis Manager, he worked at the heart of the commercial team at Airbus, holding responsibility for marketing campaigns in Europe, Africa, China and Australasia, with particular focus on aircraft definition, performance, economics and investment appraisal. He worked in teams that placed Airbus aircraft in Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, Finnair, South African Airways, Australian Airlines and CAAC (China).

By 1994, Paul had been promoted to General Manager, Marketing Development and Training, and was instrumental in the development of several key tools for aircraft evaluation purposes, including methodologies that are in use today. He held overall responsibility for the training of all Airbus Marketing personnel (120 persons) in technically-related commercial matters.

He championed the evolution and led the Academia workshop, considered as one of the industry’s most relevant computer simulation workshops. Paul created the Airbus Air Transport Seminar, a showcase educational programme for airline industry leaders. Over a 13-year period Paul ran 77 seminars for almost 2,000 airline middle and senior managers in all continents, developing and executing the curriculum.

In 2003 Paul established AirBusiness Academy, a subsidiary of Airbus, providing training, research and consultancy services to Airbus, its customers and suppliers. His team of 35 persons included a faculty of 12 consultants, developing and delivering education programmes on leadership, human performance, quality, project management, finance and air transport. He developed and taught leadership skills for Airbus high-potential managers, as well as writing, filming and editing a series of training videos.

By 2007, after a career of 23 years with Airbus, Paul was seeking new pastures, and took up the role of Director of the Training and Development Institute of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), based in Montreal, Canada. He led a team of 55 persons in developing educational services for the airline industry. The scope of the business included classroom and in-company courses (7,500 participants per year) plus distance learning (27,000 participants). His responsibilities included business and new product development, strategic planning, and people management.

Paul remained in Canada to set up and manage his own consulting practice in airline strategy and leadership skills, called Through The Looking Glass Ltd. He has worked with clients in China, Canada, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Brazil and France.

In 2010 he took up the challenge to become the first Director of the new Al Ain International Aviation Academy, established by the Abu Dhabi government in the UAE. The Academy provides aircraft maintenance training to EASA and UAE GCAA standards for Emirati nationals, as well as programmes in air traffic control and aircraft composites. In just two years Paul developed the Academy from virtually a standing start (with just 23 students) to a position as contender for the leading regional institution in its field (with 270 students).

Upon conclusion of his contract with the Abu Dhabi government, Paul decided to remain in the UAE, based in Dubai, to further develop his Through The Looking Glass project. Among his recent assignments is the development of a suite of on-line learning modules in airline marketing for an aerospace client in North America. This includes specification, writing, instructional design and technical execution processes.

Paul Clark is well known as the author of Buying The Big Jets, considered to be the standard work on the subject of airline fleet planning. Buying The Big Jets is now in its second edition, and has been translated into Chinese. Paul has also authored Stormy Skies – Airlines in Crisis. Both books are published by Ashgate Publishing. He is also the author of two books on railway history, and is an occasional contributor of articles to the mainstream aviation press.

Paul has a creative streak, and for many years ran his own film production company, focusing on documentaries and short training videos. When living in France he ran a weekly ‘live’ radio show, broadcast on the FM network in the Toulouse region. He plays the piano, and his rendition of the works of Johannes Sebastian Bach provides opportunity for much comment among his immediate neighbours.

He is an accomplished conference speaker, addressing airline business strategies, aircraft evaluation techniques, airline economics and fleet planning.

Paul was elected Visiting Professor at Cranfield University, UK, from 2002 to 2005, and is currently Visiting Professor to City University, London. He has lectured on the Master of Science programmes of both universities, as well as MBA programmes in France and Italy.

Paul is a past Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society.

Professor Paul Clark is a Senior Associate and Consultant at Aviation Consulting Group –UK.