Emirates today released its point-by-point, fact-based response to allegations of subsidy and unfair competition leveled by the “big three” US legacy carriers – Delta, United and American Airlines.The full document was released to the media and public, following meetings yesterday where an Emirates delegation briefed officials from the US Departments of State, Transportation, and Commerce on the airline’s response.
The US legacy carriers launched an aggressive lobbying campaign in January, in a protectionist bid to restrict consumer choice, and restrict the growth of international flights to the USA operated by Emirates and other Gulf airlines. Only on 5 March did the US legacy carriers publicly release their 55-page white paper which presented so-called “evidence” of Emirates receiving subsidy and competing unfairly. Full appendices to the 55-pager were not made public until 21 April.
Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline said: “The methods employed by the US legacy carriers to discredit Emirates have been surprising and frankly, repugnant. We do not underestimate their lobbying prowess, but facts are facts. Unlike the Big 3’s white paper, which is riddled with inaccuracies, conjecture, and legal misinterpretations, Emirates’ response is comprehensive and based on hard facts. We clearly show why the Big 3 have no grounds to ask the US government to unilaterally freeze Emirates’ operations to the USA or pursue other action under the Open Skies agreement. It is because we are absolutely not subsidized, and our operations do not harm these legacy carriers, but instead benefit consumers, communities and America’s national economy.”
US legacy carriers are wrong on facts: Emirates is not subsidized
Emirates’ response systematically disproves each of the Big 3’s allegations that it has received over $6 billion in subsidies, including fuel hedging subsidies; purchasing goods and services from related third parties at below-market terms; disproportionately benefiting from airport infrastructure and user fee at Dubai International airport; and having an artificial cost advantage through the structure of the UAE’s labor law.
Sir Tim said: “The subsidy allegations put forward by the Big 3 are patently false. We have been profitable for 27 years straight, and unlike our accusers, we have never depended on government bail-outs or protection from competition. In fact, we were told right from the start by the government of Dubai that Emirates has to deliver profits and stand on its own feet. We had to then, and we still have to now.”