AEA CEO hits out at critics

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By TESTCustomwebLP TESTCustomwebLP October 22, 2014 20:05

AEA CEO hits out at critics

Speaking at the Association of European Airlines (AEA) Airline Leadership Summit in Istanbul, AEA CEO Athar Husain Khan stated that he was “sick and tired” of being told Europe is protectionist. “The only region in world which has liberalised its airline market is Europe,” said Husain Khan. “No other region of the world has done the same. The Gulf is still strung together by old-fashioned bilateral air service agreements. So is Latin America. So is the Far East. So is Africa. The US has a slightly different situation; they did liberalise, but that was just in their domestic market, so that is a totally different story.”

He added: “I can assure you if we went to a bank this afternoon and raised a couple of billion dollars, then went down to the Middle East and offered to buy 49% of any given Middle East carrier, we would not be allowed. The same goes for many of the carriers in the Far East. So my question would be: who is the protectionist one here? Certainly not Europe.”

He called for non-European airlines should have to adhere to traffic rights, ownership and control, and state aid rules like European airlines do.

“Why does the market function so well? It’s because there are rules that govern it. We invite everyone to tap into the benefits of the liberalised, open, free, European market, but—if you do—you need to play by the rules.”

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By TESTCustomwebLP TESTCustomwebLP October 22, 2014 20:05