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Emirates boss slams US airlines over “unfounded” unfair competition claims

Emirates Airline boss has come down heavily on the three US airlines, which have waged a long war against Gulf carriers, saying that the troika’s record profits and all-time high employment in the country’s aviation point to “the total absence of alleged competitive harm”.

Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates said “Delta Air Lines, American Airlines, United Airlines and their proxies continually pour money in to lobby and make unfounded accusations against Emirates, but they have never filed a formal U.S. Department of Transportation complaint against Emirates, even though this is the statutory process long relied on by U.S. airlines to address allegations of unfair competition. That itself is telling.”

“Sitting on record profits and with employment in U.S. aviation at an all-time high, the three carriers know they don’t have a leg to stand on. Evidence repeatedly points to the benefits that Emirates bring to U.S. consumers and the economy, and the total absence of alleged competitive harm,” he added in a statement sent out to the media.

The Dubai-based airline said supported more than 104,000 American jobs and contributed $21.3 billion in revenue to the U.S. economy, including $10.5bn to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and $6.4bn of labor income in 2015, citing a study conducted by consulting firm Campbell-Hill Aviation Group.

“Campbell-Hill’s data reaffirms the significant stimulative effect of Emirates’ operations on the U.S. economy. It shows we’ve brought hundreds of thousands of new travelers to the United States, helped increase competitive air transport options for over a million American and international travelers who flew with us, and contributed to increased demand for U.S. exports in aerospace and many other sectors,” Clark said.

“Over more than a decade, Emirates has progressively grown cargo and passenger operations in the U.S. on the back of customer demand, and we will continue working with our partners across the travel, tourism, aviation, aerospace and other industries, to expand and improve the products and services that we offer to our customers.”

The study noted that the catalytic impact of Emirates’ U.S. operations brought over 580,000 new travelers to the U.S. who otherwise would not have travelled there, and generated $3.2bn of new trade-based revenue. Indirect spending within the U.S. by newly stimulated passengers combined with new merchandise and service trade created approximately 30,000 jobs, and $4.6 billion of new revenues for U.S. businesses, including $1.7bn of labor income and $2.5bn of GDP.

“Our research shows how Emirates’ presence in the U.S. and the air connectivity it provides generates significant economic growth by increasing the free flow of international travel and trade. It is also important to note that the more than 100,000 jobs Emirates supports in the U.S. produce widespread benefits across diverse sectors of our economy from professional services, to manufacturing, to education, and to hospitality,” Dr. Brian Campbell, Principal at Campbell-Hill Aviation Group said.

Emirates flies more than 135 weekly passenger and cargo flights serving 14 U.S. gateways, including recently launched services to Orlando and Fort Lauderdale in Florida, as well as to Newark via Athens.