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Dubai’s Emirates airline has released a 400-page rebuttal to claims by three major U.S. airlines that it is enjoying an unfair advantage through state subsidies.
In a white paper issued in January, U.S. legacy airlines Delta, United and American had accused Emirates of receiving more than $6 billion in subsidies from the Dubai government.
On Tuesday, Emirates hit back.
“Their argument is nothing more than a mess of legal distortions and factual errors,” the U.A.E. national carrier said in the document posted on its website.
“What the legacy carriers want is protection from competition. Such protection would do irreparable harm to U.S. cities and airports, America’s world-leading aerospace industry, U.S. exports and jobs, U.S. air cargo carriers, and most of all, U.S. consumers, including passengers and shippers,” the document said.
“It would also undermine America’s leadership in international aviation — leadership that has made Open Skies the global template for air services.”
The document was also presented to U.S. officials in Washington by Emirates president Sir Tim Clark.
“The legacy carriers have received more than $100 billion in government support since 2002,” Clark told reporters after his meeting.
“In sum, there is no factual or legal justification for U.S. unilateral action against Emirates,” the document said.
“Such a step by the United States would seriously disadvantage other U.S. stakeholders, sound the death knell for Open Skies, and send a very negative signal about the value of U.S. trade, diplomatic, and security commitments,” the airline warned.
“For these reasons, the legacy carriers’ demands for protection should be firmly rejected.”
Images are courtesy of Emirates.