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Tue 10 Mar 2015 10:58 AM

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Emirates launches US airfare sale amidst subsidies row

Two-for-one promotion for flights to Dubai from nine US cities

Emirates launches US airfare sale amidst subsidies row

In the midst of a high profile war of words with US airlines, Dubai's Emirates Airline has launched a new sales promotion offering two-for-one economy class airfares to Dubai from its nine US gateways, for as little as $1,299, or $649.50 each.

The flights are from New York, Boston, Chicago, Washington DC, Houston, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Dallas Ft. Worth but tickets must be bought by midnight (PST) on Thursday March 12 and are for travel between March 24 and December 10.

There are a number of conditions in the fare, including a charge of $200 per passenger for reservation change prior to departure and a no-show fee of $600 per passenger.

“There is no better time to visit Dubai and no better way than flying Emirates with our latest two-for-one special fare,” Matthias Schmid, Emirates’ vice president for sales for the USA, said.

The fare sale comes days after three US carriers - American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines – made public a 55-page white paper outlining how they believe Emirates, Etihad Airways, and Qatar Airways have “received $42 billion in quantifiable subsidies and other unfair benefits from their respective governments in the last decade”.

The US airlines claim the alleged subsidies received by Gulf airlines are “in violation of Open Skies policy and put thousands of US airline jobs at risk”.

Last week, Emirates president Tim Clark said he was planning talks with officials in Washington soon to help formulate its response to the allegations of unfair subsidies awarded to Gulf airlines by their respective governments.

The Gulf carriers deny receiving subsidies and Qatar Airways Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker said the US airlines had themselves received backdoor subsidies via Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

"I think we need to get a measure of the threat," Clark told journalists at an event in Berlin last week. "I'll talk to some of the players in the government there, I'll establish how this is being dealt with. After that, we'll formalise our response."

He said he didn't feel that the Open Skies deal would end up being shut down. "That would be madness. It's done the United States an enormous power of economic good."

Clark, a member of the management team since Emirates Airline launched, repeated that the airline had not received subsidies and he was prepared to defend the airline and provide evidence.

"I've been there since the beginning, we were given a clean sheet of paper and a $10 million cheque. We built this through blood, sweat and tears," he said.

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Nick 5 years ago

Let the games commence!

Etihad and Qatar Airways to follow suit?