Emi­rates’ Athens-NY plan flies into US air­lines’ ire

Kathimerini English - - Focus -

DUBAI (Reuters) – Emi­rates’ an­nounce­ment on Mon­day that it would start fly­ing to the United States with a stop for pas­sen­gers in Greece sparked a strong re­ac­tion from a lobby group rep­re­sent­ing US com­peti­tors who ac­cused it of com­pet­ing un­fairly through state sub­si­dies. The world’s largest long-haul air­line said it would start daily flights from Dubai to New Jersey’s Ne­wark Lib­erty In­ter­na­tional Air­port via Athens on March 12. Emi­rates was “fla­grantly vi­o­lat­ing” the air ser­vices agree­ment that al­lows it to fly to the United States, said the Part­ner­ship for Open & Fair Skies, which rep­re­sents Delta Air Lines and other US air­lines. Ac­cus­ing Emi­rates of “throw­ing down the gaunt­let,” the group said it would dis­cuss the mat­ter with the new ad­min­is­tra­tion of Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump to “pro­tect Amer­i­can jobs.” The Dubai-Athen­sNe­wark route would be Emi­rates’ sec­ond so-called “fifth free­dom” flight to the United States in ad­di­tion to an ex­ist­ing daily Dubai-Mi­lan-New York ser­vice. It also op­er­ates three daily di­rect Dubai-New York flights. Fifth free­dom rights al­low an air­line to fly be­tween for­eign coun­tries as a part of ser­vices to and from its home coun­try. Delta and other US air­lines have ac­cused ma­jor Gulf car­ri­ers – Emi­rates, Abu Dhabi’s Eti­had Air­ways and Qatar Air­ways – of re­ceiv­ing over $50 bil­lion in un­fair sub­si­dies. The Gulf car­ri­ers deny the al­le­ga­tions.

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