West must loosen airport access or we may cancel jet orders – Sheikh Ahmed

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Emirates Airline Group chairman and chief executive Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum has lashed out at countries that block international airlines' expansion by limiting landing rights at their airports.

Announcing a series of multi-billion dollar deals with US-based Boeing and European rival Airbus, the Dubai boss suggested Gulf carriers may consider cancelling aircraft orders if landing rights are not improved.

Taking advantage of the international attention on the first day of the Dubai Airshow, Sheikh Ahmed said some governments were hindering business and affecting customer convenience by refusing to allow airlines more landing slots, in some cases to protect national carriers.

"We see that many countries so far don't update their policies. They're a bit, you can say, scared," he said.

"I think we need to open up; airports need business. This is why we are in Dubai... building another international airport, to have as much capacity (as possible).

"It's people's choice at the end of the day, where they want to fly, to which airport, on which airline."

He suggested that airlines may even consider cancelling aircraft orders from companies based in countries that blocked airline growth.

"We are buying a product from their countries... Why would we buy something when they will not allow us (to increase landing capacity)? Then they can take the aircraft back," he said.

"But I don't think something like this will happen.

"I always look at the future as positive and I think we'll be able to fly to more and more airports."

Sheikh Ahmed said there had been some reversal in government policies restricting airline access, citing Emirates' weekly flights to Australia increasing from seven in 1996 to about 100.

However, the airline has been hampered in attempts to increase services to Canada and India, in particular.

Canada's limiting of UAE landing rights to three times a week caused a major political spat for more than two years, until in April Air Canada signed a code-sharing agreement with Abu Dhabi's Etihad.

However, Emirates has continued to be blocked from expanding in the North American country.

Etihad, the UAE national carrier, also has taken up the country's increased seat allocation to India. The Indian and UAE governments in September agreed to allow Etihad and Jet Airways to add 36,670 seats per week over three years to 2015, on top of the current entitlement of 13,600.

"We always hope that countries will allow airlines to operate more freely into airport destinations," Sheikh Ahmed said.

"We'll fight it."

Emirates president Tim Clark said the airline was not in negotiations for more landing slots at London's Heathrow Airport, which is very close to capacity.

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Posted by: AIO


''But the real story of last week?s Dubai Airshow came in the form of the sideline deals that will see some of the ?big three? money recycled back into the local economy.''


The article speaks for itself, or are you going to say ''do yourself a favor and brush up on your business sense'' or ''You still fail to see things from a business perspective.''

And last but not least.

That is called a business transaction.

Posted by: Billy

Guys all this chat is a waste of time and giving credibility to a whole lot of cage rattling and hot air from Emirates. The Emirates guys are very bright people and they have not committed to such large orders on the "maybe" of getting more slots in Europe. They need these planes anyway to fuel the growth they are seeing where they are already established. They are using these orders as blackmail but like all blackmailers they loose their power if you call their bluff. So, the European airports simply need to say no and then we will see what happens. Will Emirates curtail their own growth by having fewer planes than they need. Not a chance. The Europeans must not change their decision criteria to give in to a school yard bully....there are greater things at stake for them than upsetting Emirates.

Posted by: WHJ

@Telco. Please keep typing slowly. May be then you will understand what you're writing and realise that you jump from one subject to another without making any sense along the way. Oh and keep sighing while you're at it.

Posted by: nimby

they are "not in negotiation" in LHR as it is very close to capacity.

There is no point in negotiating for one extra flight every other day!

Posted by: Telcoguy

I will type very slowly, so you can follow
- Most of the future growth in the industry (the one you claim means squat) involves flying China to Europe/UK
- No more slots to LHR means that to grow on that route you need planes that take more people and with lower turn around time
- Currently there is only one plane that can fly very long, with lot of people and load/unload very quickly. Yes that is Airbus 380, Boeing decided that this was too small a niche, you can fly long or you can fly lot of people, not both
- Emirates can only grow on those constrained routes by going A380, something they recognize
- Moving out of Airbus because of landing slots in Germany would cost them revenue in the routes discussed
- No airline will ever again be left with just one aircraft provider
- Furthermore, there has been plenty of talk of Emirates trying to get Airbus to design an aircraft that would fit their very specific needs

So, again. These words are part of the Airshow theatre. Sigh.

Posted by: WHJ

@Telcoguy. Hahaha... No one is asking for extra capacity in LHR, JFK or Tokyo!! The landing rights are needed in countries like Canada, Germany and India. Man! Read the article!
"Tim Clark said the airline was NOT in negotiations for more landing slots at London's Heathrow Airport, which is very close to capacity".

Posted by: Rob

Just cancel the orders.
Getting a little boring now,,, yawn

Posted by: Telcoguy

@WHJ, first to maximize profits Emirates needs to fly, and the profit are made in those routes served by the kind of planes made by Boeing and Airbus. There are no other companies that are able to do it. No Bombardier, no Embraer, no mystery Chinese nor Indian company as some deluded poster was writing. Not even the Russians can today produce an airplane that can compete on that segment. So no more airplanes equals no more growth (and no more profits)
Second, no sane aircraft company will ever be again in a position where they have a single provider of aircrafts. That would be a suicide, is well known and well understood. It makes an interesting story if you can be bothered to look for it. And I think that is a fairly basic business concept too
Third if Emirates stops its growth other will meet the demand. Not just one single company for sure, but (another basic business concept) neither Boeing nor Airbus will be too unhappy to see their customer base become less concentrated

Posted by: william randolph

I dont understand this obsession that emirates and etihad have with Canada and securing more landing rights.
It is a huge but insignificant country , with a population of 30 million people. It exports practically nothing except oil and American cars to the USA.
They should instead focus on securing more flights to India and US , because thats where the future lies.
Let the Canadians have Air Canada and the rotten service and clunky old planes.

Posted by: Canuck

Good comment - Canada doesn't want any more problems from the ME coming here.

The new C-series by Bombardier, passenger jets, that saves 20% fuel and 23-25% noise reduction these planes will top all the others in due time. They also can do trans Atlantic flights.
Gone into production and Asians countries have already put in their orders.

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