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UAE, US sign agreement to resolve crisis
May 13, 2018
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WASHINGTON: The United States and the United Arab Emirates signed a deal on Friday to resolve US claims that Gulf carriers have received unfair government subsidies, the US State Department said.

The UAE’s ambassador to the United States, Yousef Al Otaiba, praised the deal. Since 2015 the largest US carriers - Delta Air Lines Inc, American Airlines Group Inc and United Airlines - have urged the US government to challenge the conduct of the three major Middle Eastern carriers under “Open Skies” agreements. The US airlines have contended the Gulf carriers are being unfairly subsidised by their governments with more than $50 billion in subsidies over the last decade.

Etihad Airways and Emirates have denied the accusations. The Gulf airlines operate around 200 flights per week to 12 US cities.

The Open Skies agreements that the United States has signed since 1992 with Gulf states and other countries are designed to eliminate government involvement in airline decision-making about routes, capacity and pricing in international markets. “The UAE is very pleased that our understanding with the US preserves all of the benefits of Open Skies for travelers, airlines, communities and aerospace companies in both countries and around the world,” Otaiba, the UAE ambassador to the United States, said in a statement. “All the terms and provisions of the Air Transport Agreement including Fifth Freedom rights remain fully in place, with UAE and US airlines free to continue to add and adjust routes and services.”


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