Adam Minter’s post, “U.S. Airlines Should Quit Whining” completely and utterly misses the point of what is at stake in the effort to bring attention to and ultimately action against the United Arab Emirates and Qatar for heavily subsidizing their airlines.
Minter got one thing right: It is true that in most cases, Open Skies agreements have been a positive for the U.S. economy, airlines, airline employees, and travelers alike. What he completely fails to address, however, is that the entire Open Skies policy is turned on its head when two countries – in this case, ones from the Arabian Peninsula – decide to pour more than $40 billion into their airlines, propelling them into growth unsubstantiated by the marketplace, thereby taking market-share (and jobs) from U.S. airlines.
Minter whines that U.S. airlines should up their service and compete – that is exactly what they are trying to do. U.S. airlines and their employees welcome competition when the playing field is level. However, $40 billion in subsides, directly undercut the competition Open Skies aims to create and distorts the playing field to such a degree that only one side – in this case the United Arab Emirates and Qatar – can benefit. They have made the playing field so un-level the U.S. airlines operating in the open marketplace can’t possibly compete with the government money flowing in from the Gulf States. That isn’t Open Skies. That isn’t fair competition. And corrective action needs to be taken immediately.
Americans for Fair Skies
In response to:”U.S. Airlines Should Quit Whining” Article on Bloomberg.com