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Wed 13 Oct 2010 08:03 PM

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Dubai airport chief dismisses France and Canada remarks

Dubai Airports CEO says same rates and charges apply to all carriers

Dubai airport chief dismisses France and Canada remarks
Paul Griffith has denied claims that Gulf rivals get subsidies and export credits that allow them to grow at a breakneck pace.

Dubai Airports applies the same rates and charges to all airlines using the emirate’s main airport, the organisation’s CEO has said.

The comment comes amid recent comments from France and Canada accusing Dubai flag-carrier Emirates of receiving government subsidies and preferential treatment at its home hub.

“In Dubai, aviation is embraced as a strategic imperative. Another key to its success has been equal treatment of airlines. Dubai Airports and Dubai Air Navigation Services offer the same competitive rates and charges to all airlines,” said Dubai Airports CEO Paul Griffiths.

“That, combined with the UAE’s open skies policy and the attractiveness of Dubai as a business and leisure destination, is why we have 130 airlines operating into one of the fastest growing airports in the world.”

On Monday, Air France CEO Pierre-Henri Gourgeon called on other European airlines to help slow the growth of the Gulf carriers, which are attracting greater numbers of travellers through Middle Eastern hubs.

“The only thing Dubai is guilty of is providing an environment that actually supports aviation,” added Griffiths.

“Most governments around the world treat aviation as a pariah, choking its growth with costly, misdirected regulation, instead of adopting policies that recognise its considerable socio-economic benefits and support its sustainable growth. They then compound the problem with parasitic forms of taxation that usually flow straight out of the sector.”

Emirates Airline president Tim Clark denied the accusation of preferential treatment over fuel bills.

“I have said 'you prove a subsidy and I will resign the next day'. It is completely wrong," Clark told Reuters.

Elsewhere, the UAE ambassador to Canada has expressed disappointment after the breakdown of five years worth over negotiations intended to offer more landing rights to the Gulf state’s carriers.

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John 9 years ago

Why do the Europeans always have a go at the Gulf carriers and never the likes of Qantas and Singapore Airlines, which benefit richly from preferential rates and treatment in their home ports. Qantas has a virtual monopoly, but not a word is muttered by the "legacy" dinosaurs in Europe. Clark is hardly going to stick his neck on the block about resigning if he knew there was a subsidy. The only thing that Emirates is guilty of is beating competitors at their own game and constantly providing better service, newer planes and less ornery flight attendants.

John K 9 years ago

Some comments should be received from Etihad as well. Canada views the UAE as one country and looks at the overall situations. Would be helpful if AB would seek a clarification on these matters to give readers the full story.

JK 9 years ago

Quoting..."On Monday, Air France CEO Pierre-Henri Gourgeon called on other European airlines to help slow the growth of the Gulf carriers"

Did we read that. Air-France is calling to slow the growth. Slow the growth. Seriously EU carriers. If you spend the time re-inventing rather than slowing the growth of Arab carriers, then I think EU would be good enough to compete.

And Canada, they are just shy and closing their doors to tourism.

Samer Helmy 9 years ago

Anyone using an online booking platform will see that there are exorbitant charges made on all airlines including the Gulf ones, and equally the taxes are lower on every national airline flying to its home destination (lowest taxes are for British Airways when flying to London, Air France ridiculously lower when flying to Paris) and sometimes the taxes and fees are double the fare on its own. Emirates Airlines and other gulf airways are being charged equally high taxes on the European flights, so Canada and France need to just cut the nonsense