Spat between Middle East carriers and Delta continues

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By admin February 27, 2015 20:28

Spat between Middle East carriers and Delta continues

The very public spat between Middle Eastern carriers and Delta has been added to today by an open letter from the US-UAE Business Council President, Danny E. Sebright, who has issued a counter response to a recent letter written by Senior VP of Delta, Andrea Newman.  Sebright states that he strongly disagrees with her assessment on the allocation of benefits under Open Skies.

He says: “Open Skies did exactly what was promised — spurring rapid growth in bilateral airline services, generating huge sales of US commercial aircraft, and stimulating the overall trade relationship.

“While US airlines were distracted by mergers and bankruptcies or focused on expanding their own Asia routes or locking in antitrust immunity with their European partners, UAE airlines expanded rapidly. They saw an opportunity to connect the US and Europe via ideally located Dubai and Abu Dhabi hubs to rapidly growing markets in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. These new services have brought tens of millions of additional travelers into the global and US aviation networks,” he adds.

The Business Council has emerged in strong support for its airlines and states that it will “continue to promote and protect free trade and open markets between the US and the UAE”.

Meanwhile, responding to the publication of a 55-page dossier presented by Delta Air Lines, American Airlines and United Airlines to the US government, in which they call for the renegotiation or suspension of Open Skies liberalisation deals with the UAE and Qatar, Tim Clark, president of Emirates, has reminded the US government to think about the impact on its aerospace industry, particularly on Boeing aircraft orders.

Despite strenuous denials from the Gulf carriers, the three US carrier continue to claim that the three big Middle Easter carriers have benefitted from more than $40 billion (Dh146.8 billion) of alleged state subsidies. Speaking to Reuters, Clark denied claims his business model changed from a national airline to become a global hub following the Open Skies negotiations in 1999. He said Emirates had discusses its strategy openly during the trade talks that led to the 1999 Open Skies deal.

Clark also told Reuters that the airline could provide a “cast iron defence” against subsidy claims. He has called for the publication of the dossier and a right to reply.

admin
By admin February 27, 2015 20:28