There’s a battle going on between the “big three” US airlines and the “big three” Middle Eastern carriers. I’ve shared my thoughts about why the US carriers can’t compete with the Gulf carriers under the current system. And I think the US carriers are right for expressing their grievances, regardless of whether anything comes of it or not.
That being said, what’s truly shameful is how the US carriers are choosing to make their case. It started off with Delta’s CEO, Richard Anderson, linking the “big three” Middle Eastern carriers to 9/11. Unfortunately it hasn’t gotten much better from there.
The US carriers have set up some political action committees through which to voice their concerns, and they’re being run more like middle school smear campaigns than organizations actually looking to create change.
For example, here’s their 30 second TV spot, which completely misses the point they should be making:
Unfortunately it’s only getting worse from there. Yesterday Emirates announced that they’ll be launching service to Orlando as of September 1, 2015. Here’s what “Americans for Fair Skies” had to say about it, via an email they sent out, as well as via their Facebook page:
Today, it was announced that Emirates will begin service to Orlando, FL in September. Americans for Fair Skies sees an interesting parallel here since Orlando is the home of Disney World and like Mickey Mouse, Emirates is not real.
It’s make believe. It’s not a company. What is not a fairy tale, however, is that Emirates is an arm of the Dubai government, located in the United Arab Emirates.
But unlike the magic of Disney World, Emirates and the other two subsidized Gulf carriers, Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways, are threatening U.S. aviation jobs and distorting the international marketplace.
It’s time to restore #FairSkies and end the #MiddleEastSubsidies. The US government MUST open consultations with the UAE and Qatar to level the playing field and end the world’s largest trade violation.