Emirates president Tim Clark has pledged to smash with “a sledgehammer” a report detailing allegations by US airlines that the Dubai-based carrier is subsidised.The sledgehammer would take the form of a robust rebuttal, Clark said at the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) in Dubai.
Three big US carriers have accused Emirates, Qatar Airways and Etihad of breaching “open skies” guidelines. The Gulf airlines strenuously deny the accusations and the argument is becoming increasingly heated.
Clark also asked his US counterparts whether they would resign after making the allegations, Al Arabiya News reported.
Clark said the airline would need time to respond in full the dossier drawn up by the three US airlines, American, United and Delta. Their 55-page document had taken them two years to compile, he noted.
“You could drive a bulldozer through almost everything they wrote about us,” he said. “We will deal a sledgehammer to this report.”
The airline received no special treatment from the Dubai government, Clark declared.
“We have never been subsidised. We have grown this business from when I first came in 1985, from nothing to 235 or 240 aircraft today… And we have done that without state intervention, without state funding.”
The US airlines claim to have identified more than USD $42 billion in subsidies and other unfair advantages enjoyed by Gulf carriers over the past decade.
Meanwhile, Emirates is set to announce its financial results tomorrow, with Clark tipping it as “probably the second most profitable year in our history”.
Written by Peter Needham