Emirates hits out at US rivals over 'hollow allegations'

Dubai-based airline urges Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and American Airlines to concentrate on improving services rather than trying to stifle Emirates' growth in the US
By Sam Bridge
Wed 20 Jun 2018 02:01 PM

Emirates has urges aviation giants in the United States to concentrate on improving their own product rather than dealing in "hollow allegations and innuendo" in a bid to stifle competition in their home market.

In its latest Open Sky newsletter, the Dubai-based airline said the $50 million campaign to undermine the US Open Skies policy had failed and Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and American Airlines need instead to "compete more effectively".

The US airlines, referred to as the US3, started a campaign to block Emirates’ access to the United States three years ago, which recently concluded with the US government reaffirming that Emirates had issued audited financial reports in accordance with international accounting standards.

That conclusion came after informal discussions between the US State Department and the UAE government led to a “Record of Discussion” and related side letter, both of which were negotiated outside the scope of the US-UAE Open Skies agreement.

In its newsletter, Emirates said: "It is time for the US3 to turn their attention instead to investing shareholder money in their product to enable them to compete more effectively in the marketplace. Investment in improving their customer service would deliver better returns compared to protectionist political campaigns targeting consumer choice."

The US3 had sought formal consultations between the two governments, a moratorium on additional flights and, in particular, that Emirates would not operate more fifth freedom flights to the US via Europe.

However, the Record of Discussion mutually reaffirmed all the rights contained in the US-UAE Open Skies agreement and expressed a sincere desire to maintain the benefits it has created.

"The US3’s anti-competitive campaign was premised on the contention that alleged subsidies and maintaining Open Skies with the UAE would lead to economic harm and job losses. This doomsday scenario has proven to be nothing more than a sound-bite," added Emirates in the newsletter.

It pointed out that the US3 have posted record profits during the last three years and hired more than 10,000 new employees over this period, according to the US Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

Emirates said: "Facts are stubborn things and they ruined a protectionist campaign based on nothing other than hollow allegations and innuendo, including that Emirates has benefitted from subsidies from the Dubai government. From the beginning of this campaign, Emirates has systematically and convincingly disproven the subsidy allegations with facts."

It added that the Trump administration concluded that Emirates is fully transparent and that its financial transparency fully rebuts the allegations against it.

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Last Updated: Wed 20 Jun 2018 02:02 PM GST

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