Emirates CEO previously stated: “you prove a subsidy, I’ll resign the next day.”
Washington, DC – Today, evidentiary findings were released establishing more than $40 billion in subsidies from the governments of the United Arab Emirates and Qatar to their three state-subsidized airlines, including Emirates Airways. Specifically, Emirates Airways has received at least $6 billion in subsidies and other unfair government benefits since 2004, including $2.4 billion from government assumption of losses from fuel hedging and $2.2 billion from subsidized airport infrastructure. Emirates also received nearly a $2 billion benefit from government policies that artificially keep labor costs below market rates.
A statement by Emirates CEO, Tim Clark, from 2010 clearly established that he would resign if Emirates was found to be subsidized. He stated, “you prove a subsidy and I will resign the next day’.” Today, Emirates was proven to be subsidized. And tomorrow is the “next day” after today. The question therefore is: will Tim Clark keep his word and resign tomorrow?
Captain Lee Moak, Americans for Fair Skies President, stated the following: “We await word on Mr. Clark’s resignation. The billions of dollars in government subsidies from the government’s assumption of fuel hedging losses and subsidized airport charges violate the WTO standard of a subsidy, and violate the principles of Open Skies. Emirates has not played by the rules for at least a decade, despite claims to the contrary, and today their underhanded tactics and mistruths have been exposed.”
Also exposed in the release of the white paper today: Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways have received over $17 billion each from their respective governments in subsidies. Said Moak, “We also wonder if Etihad CEO James Hogan and Qatar Airways CEO Al Akbar are now also considering resignations after making numerous public claims, which we now know beyond a reasonable doubt were untrue, that their airlines were not government subsidized.”
Americans for Fair Skies, a grassroots coalition established to restore fairness to our Open Skies policies, is asking the U.S. government to take action on what has been established as the largest trade violation in history. The United Arab Emirates and Qatar are engaged in predatory protectionism at its worst, subsidizing their airlines and shredding Open Skies agreements they signed.
Said Moak: “The evidence is clear. Facts are facts. Emirates, Etihad, and Qatar are all receiving subsidies from their governments in violation of the principles of Open Skies. They have not been truthful for years about these subsidies, attempting to hide them in their quest to steal passengers from U.S. airlines, undercutting American jobs. Enough is enough. The time for action is now.”