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Washington, D.C. – In response to Emirates’ planned fifth freedom route from Dubai to Newark through Athens, the Partnership for Open & Fair Skies issued the following statement:

“By flagrantly violating its Open Skies agreement with the United States at the start of the Trump administration, Emirates is throwing down the gauntlet,” said Jill Zuckman, chief spokesperson for the Partnership for Open & Fair Skies. “We look forward to working with President Trump and his team to enforce these agreements and protect American jobs – something that the Obama administration failed to do.”

The fifth freedom principle enables airlines to carry passengers between two foreign countries, provided that the flight begins in or continues on to the carrier’s home country. Many seem them as an unfair form of competition.

The Partnership for Open & Fair Skies has documented over $50 billion in government subsidies received by Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways from their Gulf state owners, in violation of Open Skies agreements. The subsidies harm the U.S. aviation industry and hard-working Americans. In fact, for every international flight that U.S. airlines are forced to close due to subsidy-fueled Gulf carrier expansion, economists estimate that over 1,500 American jobs are lost.

Background on Partnership for Open & Fair Skies

The Partnership for Open & Fair Skies is a coalition that includes American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines, along with the Air Line Pilots Association, the Allied Pilots Association, the Southwest Airline Pilots’ Association, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, the Communications Workers of America, and the Airline Division of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. The Partnership presented a white paper, Restoring Open Skies: The Need to Address Subsidized Competition from State-Owned Airlines in Qatar and the UAE, to the U.S. government. The Partnership called on the U.S. government to address the $50 billion in subsidies that the Gulf carriers have received from their government-sponsors, the UAE and Qatar.

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