Emirates wings clipped in Italy

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By TESTCustomwebLP TESTCustomwebLP April 11, 2014 22:47

Emirates wings clipped in Italy

A Supreme Administrative Court in Rome yesterday ruled that Emirates had breached the bilateral air-service agreement between Italy and the United Arab Emirates with its Milan/New York service and that the route should be blocked following protests filed by Assaereo who represent Alitalia and other Italian carriers against the Italian Civil Aviation Authority that agreed to the slots. This Assaereo protest was backed by Delta Air Lines.

Emirates Airline said in a statement on Thursday that it was considering whether to lodge an “urgent appeal” to Italy’s Supreme Administrative Court. At this time Emirates has been given no information as to if it should stop flying the route or not and the service continues.

This ruling puts a spanner in the works for Emirates and its plans to have passenger and cargo stops in Europe on routes between the Americas and the Middle East and beyond. In the case of cargo prospects especially this is a serious blow as the Milan route was seen as a model for gaining clearance from the UK, Germany, Spain and others for similar agreements.

The reason for Delta’s interest in all this is obvious, Emirates is hitting the US carrier hard across the globe and with Emirates overtaking Alitalia, Delta and American to become the Milan/New York route’s largest carrier, they acted on the regulatory front and not a competitive front in order to win the day and avoid a costly war for market share. Delta may well have lead the way in stemming the growth of the Middle East giants for the time being, but I would argue that in order to beat the Middle East carriers, airlines such as Delta need to develop and market the point to point network using longer range aircraft. That thought process indicates that Delta should be looking to deploy 787 or A350 aircraft and upscale on key longhaul routes to A380s where they would be able to compete with carriers such as Emirates on passenger experience and premium economy capture, while deploying less aircraft and therefore less pilots and staff. It might be time for many US airlines to take a different approach to taking on and beating the Middle East airlines on key routes and that will mean they need to get their hands on an A380 or two as the European majors already have.

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By TESTCustomwebLP TESTCustomwebLP April 11, 2014 22:47
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