Specifically, two nations, the United Arab Emirates and State of Qatar, have been found cheating their agreements with the United States. Today, the Trump Administration indicated that it is taking action to address the subsidized passenger airlines from these countries. This is a welcome move towards ensuring fair competition in the international passenger aviation marketplace. Americans for Fair Skies applauds President Trump and his Administration for taking initial steps towards enforcement of our Open Skies trade agreements and encourages the Administration to move swiftly and assertively to safeguard U.S. aviation jobs from the destructive uncompetitive practices of the UAE and Qatar.
Two nations, the United Arab Emirates and State of Qatar, have been illegally subsidizing their three respective airlines, Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways, for more than a decade. With more than $50 billion in subsidies from their governments, the three airlines have engaged in predatory expansion, unchecked by market demands. Their subsidized growth has upended the international aviation marketplace, depriving U.S. airlines and their employees of their right to “fair and equal opportunity,” as demanded by Article 11 of the U.S. Open Skies trade agreements with the UAE and Qatar. With load factors (number of seats sold) below 70%, more than 10% lower than the international average, while at the same time continuing to expand faster than market demand, it is clear that the Middle Eastern carriers are not operating “based upon commercial considerations in the marketplace” as Open Skies requires.