Editorial accuses American carriers of bending truth over Open Skies debate
Responding to a previously published editorial, Emirates chief executive Sir Timothy Clark is accusing the American legacy carriers of “advancing their distorted math” when it comes to the ongoing Open Skies debate. In an opinion piece published by Fox News, Clark once again asserted the position that his airline never accepted subsidies from their home government, while claiming the ongoing Open Skies debate could be about maintaining market dominance.
In his article, Clark attempts to dispel arguments made against his airline, as well as competitors Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways. According to data provided by the carrier, Emirates reported creating over 104,000 jobs in the United States, with an estimated economic impact exceeding $12 billion. The president also claimed to be the “world’s largest purchaser of U.S.-built Boeing aircraft,” while citing a trade surplus with the United Arab Emirates.
Since 2015, America’s legacy carriers have attributed the growth of the “Middle East Three” to over $40 billion in subsidies as alleged in a report to the White House. However, Clark attributes those accusations to the fact that the airlines are trying to protect their hold on international routes to and from the United States.
“There is a reason the Big 3 have opted to advance their distorted math via million-dollar lobbying campaigns instead of filing a formal complaint against Emirates with U.S. Department of Transportation,” Clark wrote in the editorial. “The facts don’t support their claims.”
Clark went on to point out several advantages the American legacy carriers have enjoyed, including bankruptcy and antitrust immunity. In a previous interview, former Delta chief executive Richard Anderson pushed back on claims that bankruptcy and bailout were the same as subsidies.
In a statement printed prior to the editorial, the Partnership for Open and Fair Skies said the Open Skies agreements “…already provide a way to deal with rule-breakers,” and called for the agreements “…to be fair, enforced and for the benefit of the American worker.” The partnership has not released a statement in response to Clark’s editorial.