Delta Air Lines Plans Halt to Atlanta-Dubai Service

Delta Air Lines says it will cancel its Atlanta-Dubai flight due to the difficulty of competing with the subsidized Gulf carriers.

The flight, operated with a Boeing 777, will end Feb. 11, 2016. After that, Delta’s only non-stop flight to the Middle East will be a New York Kennedy-Tel Aviv flight, and the only U.S. carrier flight to Dubai will be United’s Washington Dulles-Dubai flight.

“The cancellation of nonstop service between Atlanta and Dubai comes amid overcapacity on U.S. routes to the Middle East operated by government-owned and subsidized airlines,” Delta said, in a statement posted on its website.

“As a result, Delta has been forced to redeploy the 777 aircraft on this route to a market that’s not distorted by government subsidization of state-owned airlines,” the carrier said.

Between 2008 and 2014, about 11,000 daily seats were added between the U.S. and Dubai, Doha and Abu Dhabi. More than 95% of the capacity on the routes is provided by Gulf carriers Emirates, Qatar and Etihad airlines, which uses the three hubs to connect passengers from throughout the world.

Delta has led an effort, later joined by American and United, to ask the U.S. government to open consultations with Qatar and the United Arab Emirates to address the issue of $42 billion in government subsidies provided to the Gulf carriers.

The U.S. carriers say the subsidies violate the terms of the Open Skies agreements that enable the flights between the U.S. and the Gulf destinations.

Originally Published on Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/tedreed/2015/10/28/delta-air-lines-plans-halt-to-atlanta-dubai-service/