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Wed 13 Oct 2010 12:25 AM

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Emirates says it gets 20 percent financing from export aid

President said that it's 'natural' for airline to take advantage of export credit if it is provided

Emirates says it gets 20 percent financing from export aid
ALLEGATIONS DISMISSED: Tim Clark, president of Emirates Airlines, dismissed subsidy allegations as nonsense. (ITP Images)

The head of Dubai's Emirates, the Arab world's largest airline, said on Tuesday it finances only 20 percent of aircraft through export credits, dismissing subsidy allegations by rival airlines as "nonsense".

US and European airlines last week launched a campaign to change rules which allow foreign airlines to receive credits when buying Airbus and Boeing planes, a facility denied to carriers in countries where the planes are produced.

"To suggest that we get 100 percent support and the soft loans that come with that - according to them - is giving us a competitive advantage is nonsense but then most of those accusations are," Tim Clark said.

He added: "Only 20 percent of our aircraft have been financed using export credit agency supported loans."

Bloomberg News quoted Air France-KLM chief executive Pierre Henri Gourgeon on Monday as saying European governments should curb the expansion of Gulf Arab carriers, including Emirates, to protect European airlines from what he described as unfair competitive advantage.

Airlines in the United States and Europe are challenging the rules for government export measures which have smoothed the sales of jetliners to high growth markets in Asia and the Gulf.

Clark said it was natural for Emirates to take advantage of export credit if it is provided and that it was up to the governments if they chose to support their industries.

Clark added: "People who make statements need to check the facts, the veracity of what they are saying, to ensure they don't make themselves look silly."

Emirates has also repeatedly denied clams by rival European airlines that its fuel bills are subsidized.

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

An association of European airlines is due to meet in London on Friday to discuss the export credits issue.

Clark said: "If they spend as much time running their business as they do trying to run us down they might make even more money."

European airlines say the financing system means European taxpayers are funding the growth of airlines such as Emirates through export aid denied to their own carriers. (Reuters)

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NTO 9 years ago

Interesting Mr. Clark's claim of no subsidy. That may be the case but where else does the military join in to try and assist the advancement of a private airline.
He should be a little more introspective before speaking.

Punky Brewster 9 years ago

Is Tim Clark willing to publish the AUDIT reports in the local newspapers? I'm sure there's nothing to hide, 'cos it's just BUSINESS as USUAL, but to clear the doubts, it would be helpful for Emirates to be a bit more transparent.

Openskier 9 years ago

NTO get your facts right. Nice to see Canada's protection of German jobs. Good luck to you.

millicent 9 years ago

If Emirates is granted 20% credit of exports, good on them.
the European airlines are just annoyed that they are loosing market shares but they forget that only the clients choose the airline. Nobody is obliging anyone to fly with Emirates. Everyone when having the choice will fly Emirates rather than any other European airline because the European airlines just have lost it, they give no service, they are unreliable (strikes, late,old airplanes,) etc.... it is normal we only choose the best and Emirates is just the best compared to the European and American airlines so indeed they will have a lot to say in order to try and stop the public to choose the best and choose Emirates who is successful wherever they implement themselves. One never likes a successful competitor!!!!Europe and America have the know-how and the technology and the Middle East are top smart in grabbing the opportunities and developing the new ideas, so they will be annoying many more people!!!!

Peter Cooper 9 years ago

Well the airline is 100% owned by Dubai Government so it is hardly private sector. The talks on airline slots were at the inter-governmental level so you would expect the reaction to come at that level. Canada has a lot to lose and much to gain by cooperating on opening up new routes to the Emirates. Trade with Australia has boomed since the arrival of the Gulf carriers, and the UAE is now the 15th largest trading partner with Oz (India is 12th with x200 bigger population).

MM 9 years ago

First, Emirates does not need to publish its audit reports as it isn't a public traded company. Secondly, does Emirates really have to bow down and prove to France and Canada? I mean would they have done the same? Get over it. Its time the Middle East and Asia have its head up and shoulders straight. No more western bullying.

John 9 years ago

I think there is huge interest in weather Emirates airline makes money or not. Emirates group obviously does but the group contains many companies that have nothing at all to do with aviation.