The ‘Open Skies’ agreement between the UAE and the United States benefits both countries by creating and supporting jobs in both countries, according to UAE Ambassador to the United States Yousef Al Otaiba.
Speaking during a visit to Boeing employees in Charleston, South Carolina, Al Otaiba said that “without Open Skies, the full scope of Boeing's business with UAE airlines – and the economic benefits realised by communities all across the US – would not be possible.”
"The agreement works for everyone, and the aviation trade relationship is an essential part of the broader economic exchanges that connect the UAE and the US and promote our shared prosperity,” he said.
"Open Skies is a trade agreement that is working, delivering huge value and benefits to both countries – it benefits millions of flyers, it supports hundreds of thousands of jobs, it is critical to hundreds of cities and communities.
"Attempts to roll back Open Skies will only hurt communities like Charleston and employees like those at Boeing and its suppliers across the US and world. Flyers will also have fewer choices and less convenience,” he added.
In total, UAE airlines have ordered 545 Boeing Aircraft, of which 321 are yet to be delivered. Etihad, for example, accounts for almost 20 percent of the 149 Boeing 787-10s that are currently on order, and operates 23 777s with more on order.
Emirates, for its part, is the single largest operator of Boeing 777s in the world – with 123 in service and 166 on order - and was the launch customer for the 777x. Additionally, flydubai has announced the purchase of 76 737-MAX aircraft.
Studies have shown that non-stop international flights into the US – which would be put at risk by any attempts to roll back Open Skies agreements. The Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation, for example, found that a single long-haul wide-body flight to LAX generates $623.5 million in annual economic benefits.
In a separate study, the Houston Airport System and University of Houston determined that Emirates’ service to Houston would generate $257 million a year in economic benefits, with an additional 98,000 passengers a year travelling to or through Houston. In nearby Dallas/Fort Worth, DFW Airport estimates that Emirates flights produce $300 million in economic impact annually in the region.
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