DUBAI: The United Arab Emirates General Civil Aviation Authority welcomed today’s announcement on civil aviation in Washington that strongly reaffirmed and maintained all the provisions of the 2002 bilateral Air Transport Agreement between the UAE – US. The understanding confirmed at a meeting between the Foreign Ministers of both countries reinforced the principles of Open Skies that advance competition and allow airlines to freely add or adjust services to best serve travelers.
Commenting from Washington after his meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan thanked the Secretary for working to achieve understandings on civil aviation and noted: “Aviation is at the center of a UAE-US trade and commercial relationship that generates enormous benefits for both countries. Today’s announcement confirms business as usual by validating all of the rights and benefits –including ‘Fifth Freedom’ services — of the 2002 Air Transport Agreement between the two countries. UAE – US airlines will continue to have complete commercial flexibility to add or adjust service to meet travelers needs.”
“We are pleased that the discussions with the US have come to an end. They confirmed what was clear from the very beginning – that the UAE’s international airlines have operated in complete compliance with the 2002 Agreement,” said UAE Minister of Economy and Chairman of General Civil Aviation Authority His Excellency Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori. “Importantly, there is no freeze on or any change to operating rights. The UAE’s international airlines can plan and begin new service, including Fifth Freedom flights, without limits and consistent with the 2002 Agreement.”
“UAE airlines are among the world’s best. Their success has been achieved through innovation, a differentiated approach to service, and a geographic advantage at the center of the globe’s fastest growing demand for air service,” continued the Minister. “Our airlines will continue to grow and expand to connect travelers from and to the Middle East with the US, Europe, Asia, Australia and beyond.”
UAE airlines currently serve 12 US gateways with 131 flights a week. These flights generate tens of billions of dollars into the UAE – US economies, supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs in both countries. The US has a $15 billion trade surplus with the UAE, largely driven by sales of Boeing aircraft with GE engines to UAE airlines, and the UAE also invests hundreds of billions of dollars into the US.An ongoing dispute between the top three U.S. airlines — American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines — and Gulf carriers — Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways — over alleged unfair subsidies appears to have been resolved satisfactorily, but differences in the understanding of the terms linger.
However Americans for Fair and Open Skies Group issued statements praising President Donald J. Trump as instrumental in protecting U.S. airlines from alleged unfair competitive practices by Gulf airlines, involving claims that government subsidies allow Gulf carriers to operate loss-making routes.
As a result of President Trump’s leadership on trade enforcement to safeguard U.S. jobs, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has agreed to end its market-distorting airline subsidies and freeze any additional new Fifth Freedom routes into the United States. This is a huge step forward in the fight for fair competition in the international aviation marketplace,” Americans for Fair Skies said in their statement. “President Trump’s leadership and deal-making savvy have now led to successful negotiations for U.S. workers with both the UAE and the State of Qatar, which was announced this past January.”