European airlines object to Abu Dhabi preclearance plan

Victoria
By Victoria April 1, 2013 10:28

European airlines object to Abu Dhabi preclearance plan

European airlines are vociferously objecting to a deal signed between the US and UAE authorities for a US customs outpost to be created at Abu Dhabi. The facility would allow travellers to clear US customs before boarding their flights, which the Association of European Airlines (AEA) says gives a pivotal commercial edge to Etihad over European carriers.
Even as passengers from the UAE skip customs procedures on arrival in the US, European airlines passengers face even longer queues as the US ‘sequester’ begins to bite.
“Passengers arriving in the States have to wait up to three hours at certain airports before they can pass migration,” said Sciot, AEA’s general manager for communications. “Due to the recent US budget cuts, the situation will get even worse.”
European airlines are finding it hard to compete with UAE-based carriers on fares, schedules and service, adding preclearance to the mix will only add to the pressure.
Airlines for America (A4A) has also severely criticised the move.
“At a time when US carriers and airports are fighting to maintain our global competitiveness, the US government should not be signing a deal that benefits a foreign emirate and its wholly owned national carrier, particularly since no US carrier serves that emirate,” said president and CEO Nicholas E Calio. “Middle Eastern carriers and their governments make no secret about their aim to make locations like Abu Dhabi global hubs for commerce and tourism. Having the US government support that goal at the expense of US workers, airlines and our economy defies comprehension.”

Victoria
By Victoria April 1, 2013 10:28
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