The Strongest Case Being Made By US Airlines Against Their Gulf Rivals

An astroturf group, Americans for Fair Skies, has been set up to make the case against Gulf carriers.

They’ve released a new YouTube video illustrating subsidies received by Emirates. I’m troubled by the continued use of ‘Sheikh’ in the video, at least 10 times in less than 4 minutes.

  • It’s a xenophobic ploy
  • The personalization isn’t necessary to the argument, the relationship between the airline and government aren’t driven by family ties. If anything it’s the other way around.
  • Naming individuals lets them use words like “Mohammed” and other foreign-sounding names over and over.

Nonetheless, having written US Airlines Should Shut Up About Having to Compete Against Gulf Carriers (and yesterday pointing out that American Airlines’ first large aircraft order was subsidized by the US government) I thought I should pass along the case being made by the other side.

Incidentally, the US airlines would like you to subsidize their lobbying efforts:

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. WTF LOL
    “Incidentally, the US airlines would like you to subsidize their lobbying efforts”

  2. I hope nobody is stupid enough to contribute to the beggars. The whiney little beaches need to STFU.

  3. Yes, the pitch is xenophobic, but also lethally effective. Assuming the facts are correct, of course.

    Anyone who knows the int’l airline business knew “something was wrong” about the supposedly profitability of Emirates. It makes no sense. Nobody wants to buy A380s because it’s very difficult to make money with them — even on the world’s busiest, most-congested routes. Yet, somehow, Emirates makes money flying them low density, ultra long haul to obscure markets with premium service? Yeah, right.

    This is the beginning of the end for Emirates. The USA is almost certain to restrict landing rights for them, and other nations will follow.

  4. Even if — and knowing the airline industry it’s a VERY big if — is right, it’s almost it’s virtually impossible the government will do anything. There are politics involved beyond your comprehension.

  5. I think the politics are very much within my comprehension. I think the UAE needs the USA as much as we need them. I think Boeing would be happy to see Airbus suffer. I think Americans don’t like Arabs very much (we’re very xenophobic that way!), and there will be bipartisan support to help out the US airlines — and their vocal unionized employees (former ALPA president leading the charge here). Weak link are passengers, who don’t like the USA airlines and love getting more than they pay for (easy when you get $40 billion in subsidies). But the typical USA pax isn’t very politically active, and possibly hates Arabs more than the USA airlines.

    How’s that for political comprehension? 🙂

  6. Don’t quit your day job.

    There is precisely zero chance the status quo will change in detriment to the Gulf carriers.

    We don’t even have the political fortitude to call them on funding extremism because we need them more than they need us in the battle. And you think we are going to slap them upside the head because US airlines are being whiny little beaches because the Gulf carriers may or may not be getting government support that ultimately has almost zero impact on the U.S. carriers?

    Don’t believe everything you read on Fox or that you learned in your GED PoliSci class.

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