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Wed 28 Oct 2015 08:14 PM

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US carrier Delta to scrap Atlanta-Dubai flights amid subsidy row

Second-largest US passenger carrier says flights will stop from February 11 next year due to overcapacity

US carrier Delta to scrap Atlanta-Dubai flights amid subsidy row

Delta, the second-largest US passenger carrier, has announced that it will no longer fly between Atlanta and Dubai effective February 11, 2016.

The announcement comes amid concerns raised over overcapacity on US routes to the Middle East operated by Gulf airlines which US rivals claim are "heavily subsidised".

It also comes less than a month after Delta reduced service between the world’s busiest airport and the Middle East’s largest hub.

The 777 aircraft used to operate ATL-DXB will be redeployed to other Trans-Atlantic markets "where it can compete on a level playing field that’s not distorted by subsidised state-owned airlines" Delta said in a statement.

Delta added that between 2008 and 2014, about 11,000 daily seats were added between the US and Dubai, Doha, and Abu Dhabi – more than 95 percent of which are flown by Gulf carriers Emirates, Qatar and Etihad.

Of the 14 daily flights between the US and Dubai, only two are operated by US carriers, the airline said, adding that despite the increase in passengers traveling on these flights, the number whose journeys actually originate or end in the Gulf has essentially remained flat.

Delta, along with American and United through the Partnership for Open & Fair Skies have asked the US government to open consultations with Qatar and the UAE to address the issue of government subsidies being given to the Gulf carriers, which they claim total $42 billion.

All the Gulf carriers strongly deny the subsidy claims.

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sarah 3 years ago

WHO CARES? They are a run-down, ill-managed US carrier that could not possibly compete with GCC carriers and the public has voted. We have enjoy a different level of customer service levels than the average American passenger and although the present status quo with US carriers across the board is as such, it is not the status quo in this region - the glory days of Pan Am are long gone. United Airlines who has decided to leave Kuwait and Bahrain, can also leave the UAE. They are also a run-down, ill-managed US carrier. The only ones that want United to stay in the UAE are the stewardesses/stewards who enjoy flying into a beautiful airport in a well-run country. At the end of the day it is all about good government and national pride.