By Elsa Baxter
Dubai carrier rejects Air Canada's claims that plans will harm the country's airlines.
Emirates Airline has rejected claims by Air Canada’s chief executive that the Dubai-based carrier’s expansion plans would harm the country’s airports and airlines.
By increasing its three-day-a-week Dubai-Toronto service Emirates would “offer a boon for the Canadian economy by growing a key market and region of the world that is currently underserviced.”
A spokesperson told Arabian Business: “Emirates is confident our case for reasonable air access to Canada is overwhelmingly in the country’s national interest. The
Emirates commissioned independent economic study by Intervistas
rejects the notion that we could hurt Air Canada.”
The airline was responding to comments by Calin Rovinescu, CEO of Canada's biggest airline, who said in a speech in Vancouver that
Emirates wanted to “flood” Canadian airspace with seats
to take more travellers and divert them through Dubai.
"While its argument may be seductive, what Emirates' strategy will do is constrain the growth of Canadian airports by turning them from hubs into stubs at the end of a spoke that leads only to Emirates' hub in Dubai," Rovinescu was reported as saying by the news agency Reuters.
Emirates has sought approval from the Canadian government to increase its Toronto service, as well as adding Calgary and Vancouver to its routes.
Its study, released two weeks ago, estimated this growth could bring $480 million of economic benefits and more than 2,800 jobs to Canada.
“Emirates is a fully commercial airline that is owned, like many airlines, by a government investment company, and is fully and independently audited, receives no subsidy or state and operates from Dubai under fully open skies,” the Emirates spokesperson added.
As a Canadian living in Dubai, I can only hope that Emirates is able to convince the Canadian authorities about increasing their services to Calgary and Vancouver. What a difference that would make to passengers travelling to North America, with excellent service, comfortable seating and polite and helpful crew. If Air Canada were able to improve their shoddy service on board and offer exceptional service and a polite crew like Emirates does, they would not have any need to feel so threatened. Good luck Emirates, hope you can secure this service as soon as possible.