Emirates Airline rejects Delta's criticism of overcapacity
Emirates Airline [EMIRA.UL] said Tuesday that state-owned Gulf Arab airlines were not to blame for overcapacity on services between the United States and Dubai, rejecting criticism by U.S. carrier Delta Air Lines (DAL.N).
Delta said Sunday it had reduced flights between Atlanta and Dubai this winter, blaming overcapacity on U.S. routes to the Middle East by subsidized and state-owned airlines, underscoring a trade row.
Delta's attempt to pin the blame on Gulf carriers is "plainly a political play, or a thin excuse to prop up fares at a higher level by limiting capacity", an Emirates spokesperson said in a statement. The Partnership for Open & Fair Skies, a U.S. airlineunion group including Delta, alleges Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways received $42 billion in subsidies from their governments in the past decade. They say this allowed the Gulf airlines to start dumping capacity into the United States, driving down prices and pushing out competitors. Gulf carriers deny they are subsidized and say poor customer service has caused U.S. airlines to lose market share.