2 MARCH 2015


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Article from BTNews 2 MARCH 2015

Fight in the Gulf

A push by top US airlines to get the Obama administration to intervene against the rapid American expansion of three Gulf carriers has triggered opposition – much of it from within America.

American Airlines, Delta and United have circulated a 55-page briefing paper in Washington laying out what they say is evidence that these carriers are distorting global trade with the help of huge subsidies from their governments.

The Gulf airlines, Boeing customers, have reiterated their longstanding denials that they receive aid.

An increasing group of airports, tourism interests, consumer advocates and cargo carriers have complained that the big US airlines are being protectionist.  The “open skies” policy is a success creating new jobs and given consumers more choice and lower fares.

The US reached an open skies deal with the UAE – home to Emirates and Etihad Airways – in 1999, and with Qatar in 2001.  Etihad started in November 2003.

The Gulf three have expanded rapidly to siphon off international travellers who formerly flew on US, European and Asian airlines causing distress to those airlines.

In their report, the US airlines allege that the Gulf carriers have received US$42.3bn in “quantifiable” subsidies since 2004.  Some American companies argue that the home carriers simply want to shut the door to competition.    http://fairskies.org

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