False Analogies: From Paper Airplanes to Massive Gulf Subsidies

Qatar Airways, Etihad, and Emirates have received more than $40 billion in subsidies by their home governments in the past 10 years [1]. Over the past few days, those arguing in favor of the Gulf subsidies have referenced a nearly two decades old report that highlights the beginning of aviation in the United States, starting in 1918, and ending before the Open Skies agreements between the U.S. and UAE and Qatar were signed. To compare these current subsidies to a nearly 20-year old report on the founding of aviation in the United States as we first took to the skies with early test-flights is like comparing a Boeing 777 to a paper airplane. The comparison is actually laughable.

Any comparison of the evidentiary findings regarding the current Gulf subsides, which have been presented to the U.S. government and made available to the public, to unrelated and outdated research on the founding of the U.S. aviation industry is an absurd and desperate attempt to distract from the real fact-based evidence on the Gulf subsidies [2].

The facts are straightforward. The definition of subsidy has been clearly defined by the World Trade Organization [3]. Open Skies Agreements forbid subsidies that take away the opportunity for fair competition determined by the commercial considerations of the marketplace [4]. The governments of the United Arab Emirates and Qatar are presently fueling their airlines with billions in government subsidies that are unfairly distorting the marketplace and removing the opportunity for fair competition. These subsidies are a direct violation of Open Skies agreements that they signed.

United States government must immediately engage these two countries in the formal consultations process, outlined and made available to all parties in Open Skies Agreements, to bring about an end to these subsidies, which threaten U.S. aviation jobs by distorting the international marketplace [5].

Americans for Fair Skies is a grassroots coalition, established with the aim of restoring fairness to our Open Skies policies. They are asking the U.S. government to take action regarding the subsidy violations of the Open Skies Agreements with the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

Learn more at fairskies.wpengine.com.

[1] thestreet.com/story/13051277/1/report-says-gulf-airlines-got-39b-with-more-to-come-in-illegal-subsidies.html
[2] forbes.com/sites/tedreed/2015/03/02/note-to-mid-east-airlines-you-have-some-questions-to-answer/
[3] wto.org/english/docs_e/legal_e/24-scm.pdf
[4] state.gov/documents/organization/114970.pdf
[5]reuters.com/article/2015/02/11/us-airlines-competition-exclusive-idUSKBN0LF01W20150211?irpc=932