Emirates issues 350-page rebuttal of US subsidy allegations

Published July 1st, 2015 - 04:00 GMT

Emirates on Tuesday issued a comprehensive 350-page report snubbing allegations that it has received over $6 billion in subsidies, and that of unfair competition. The airline’s point-by-point rebuttal comes as a response to the three US carriers – Delta, United and American Airlines – aggressive lobbying campaign in January, in a protectionist bid to restrict the growth of international flights to the US operated by Emirates and other Gulf carriers.

Emirates President Sir Tim Clark said in Washing D.C. on Tuesday that the US carriers’ argument is nothing more than a “mess of legal distortions and factual errors”, and that the rebuttal proves false the claim that Emirates benefits from UAE government subsidies in violation of the US-UAE Open Skies Agreement.

“The methods employed by the US legacy carriers to discredit Emirates have been surprising and frankly, repugnant. The Big 3’s mess of legal distortions and factual errors falls apart at the slightest scrutiny. The allegations about Emirates receiving subsidies or competing unfairly are false,” he said, adding that the US carriers against Emirates is “full of holes”. “And if their protectionist campaign were to be successful, it will not end with just the Gulf airlines.”

Stressing upon the fact that, Emirates is “not” subsidised (unlike the US legacy carriers), Clark said that the airline has been consistently profitable for more than a quarter-century. “What the [US] legacy carriers want is protection from competition. Such protection would do irreparable harm to US cities and airports, America’s world-leading aerospace industry, US exports and jobs, US air cargo carriers, and most of all, US consumers, including passengers and shippers. It would also undermine America’s leadership in international aviation—leadership that has made Open Skies the global template for air services,” he said.

The moves comes after the American carriers launched a lobbying campaign and issued a 55-page white paper claiming that the three Gulf carriers – Emirates, Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways – have received a collective $42 billion in subsidies over a decade.

By Shweta Jain

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