Back to blog

Donald Trump holds off hitting the Gulf carriers with sanctions

See blog

Readers' comments

Reader comments are listed below. Comments are currently closed and new comments are no longer being accepted.

Sort:

Tokarian

At the UAE Airshow Emirates committed to buying $15.1 billion of Boeing’s 787-10 Dreamliners. I am sure they could easily cancel that and switch to Airbus if hypocritical US policy were to threaten their bottom line.

Apart from the huge subsidies to the whole US air transport industry, the US government has allowed the big legacy US carriers to merge into a huge, non-competitive oligopoly which make far more revenue per passenger seat mile than the airlines of most other nations.

CaptainRon

Should have led off the story with the last paragraph. It is significant that American carriers are whining about subsidies when they receive them.

Public Dude

Amen. Thanks to the Gulf carriers, Americans have a clear choice between superior comfort and service, at least on international routes, and crummy service and tired old planes offered by Delta, American and United. The American carriers are famous for squeezing passengers ever so tightly with ever-shrinking knee room and now, even toilets that are cramped to be of any use. Allowing other carriers to operate within the US is the way to stop this race to the bottom.

bcdparis

When you take a Gulf airline through either Dubai or Manama, or elsewhere, it lands at midnight. Connecting passengers descend to take advantage of duty-free while low-paid folks from Bangladesh and poorer countries scamper around to clean up the aircraft and service it outside. You'll never see this at a US airport at midnight, certainly with low-cost workers from places like Bangladesh. Generally speaking, the Gulf has been built, literally, in terms of its high rises, on the "backs" of Bangladeshis and the like. Their accounting has been done by Sri Lankans and Indians. Justice is scant. I know personally of a case of an American-Colombian who tried to introduce Colombian coffee into the Dubai market and was jailed for three years on a trumped-up drug charge. An Emirati had held a monopoly on the coffee market with Brazilian beans and coffee products.

nearmsp

I do not deny the US airlines are a pampered lot and need some competition. But I would prefer European/Canadian/Australian/SIA/Cathay/Jet Airways/Korean etc., over the gulf airlines. I have flown through Dubai and Abu Dhabi before. Not a pleasant airport. Very slow lines. Dubai was like a crowded super market with grocery karts everywhere. The climate controlled temperature felts like 90 F. I prefer flying to Asia through Paris or Amsterdam or even Tokyo over the middle east. Flying internally should be a country by country. Example agreement with Europe and US should allow either country airlines to do internal competition. Gulf airlines have nothing to offer in return to the US, so a multilateral agreement does not make sense.

nearmsp in reply to Nice2016

US has agreements with many countries for reciprocal entry agreements. This is from the USCIS web site: "Global Entry is open to U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents of the U.S., UK citizens, Indian citizens, Swiss citizens, Dutch citizens*, South Korean citizens**, Panamanian citizens, Singaporean citizens, Colombian citizens, German citizens, Argentinian citizens, and Mexican nationals. For information about each of the bilateral agreements with each of the countries eligible for Global Entry.." With global entry you avoid all entry lines and self check yourself in at immigration.

sikko6

I think Sultan Trump was bribed by the governments of those carriers. That's why he's taking actions.

Tom Silo

FINALLY! A conservative liberal article from The Economist?!?! I fell off my chair!
.
TE: "The three big American legacy carriers—American, Delta and United—are campaigning hard for the American government to take action. Delta, for instance, accuses Emirates of receiving $9.5bn... and a whopping $25.5bn for Qatar."
.
TS was just about to explain that the US government protects US airlines to a huge extent and while I suspected it was larger than what the US airlines are claiming for the Middle East airlines, I didn't know the exact amounts... And then this happened....
.
TE: "A report by the Congressional Research Service in 1999 found that since 1918, the American government had propped up the country’s airlines with $155bn in direct and indirect subsidies—and the number has only gone up in the nearly two decades since."
.
TS: BOOYA! But the goodness keeps coming...
.
TE: "Instead of using its carriers’ complaints as justification for more protection, America would do more for its citizens by ending its restrictions on foreign ownership of airlines and offering complete freedom to operate internal flights" and then this too....
.
TE: "Their investment in new planes, good service, and marketing has also forced their competitors to improve their offerings. Ordinary Americans could enjoy lower fares and better service too—if only the Trump administration leaves America’s skies open to competition."
.
TS is clapping. FINALLY some goddamn good 'ol common sense...

TJRectenwald

Emirates can recruit as many A-list celebrities as it wishes, but its advertising will not shake off the reality that it is one of the most ruthlessly avaricious carriers on the planet. Woe to any passenger who foolishly wanders into its base in Dubai on another airline---outrageous excess baggage fees are charged by Emirates even for short-haul onward regional connections to those daring to travel on a flight operated by a competitor. Indeed, the airport itself is hopelessly ill-equipped to direct connecting passengers to any but Emirates flights in this bastion of monopolistic practices. As for 'service', just try to get a refund for any cancelled flight booked on one of its tickets.

Nice2016 in reply to nearmsp

Thank you for your reply. But, I still repeat, Carriers aren't the problem. It is much easier for an American Citizen to fly to Europe, say France for example, than for a European to the actual US. Personally I've just returned from Canada BC and I enjoyed every minute of my stay, very smooth.

Nice2016

US flying policy should change in many things so to help US to get hold of profits. The biggest number of passengers can fly on many Carriers, not only Gulf ones, to reach in comfort the USA with even fares.
As a European I'd love to fly to the US every year, with 6/7 hours I can make it. But it takes me more time to pass in airport security to fly to the US and move into the US than the time to get there. Getting a US company plane so to fly INSIDE the US is the least problem, even if I perfectly know that it might not be so comfortable, the worst is all the rest. It isn't a mystery that tourism in the USA is not doing to well, and it isn't because of the fares.