The European Union proposed new rules Thursday to enable member countries and European airlines to challenge unfair airline competition from foreign carriers.
The proposal comes as airlines across the globe have called for an end to the subsidization of the three Gulf carriers – Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways – by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar. The $50 billion in subsidies allow the Gulf carriers to offer artificially low fares and aggressively expand to new markets without considering profit or demand.
“Today’s announcement from the European Union is a welcome development in the fight to end the jobs-killing Gulf carrier subsidies,” said Jill Zuckman, chief spokesperson for the Partnership for Open & Fair Skies. “Massive subsidies distort the global aviation market, and we applaud the EU for stepping up to ensure fair competition. We respectfully ask the Trump administration to join the growing global consensus that action is needed to level the playing field against the Gulf carriers’ expansion scheme. It’s time for the U.S. to enforce our international agreements and protect American jobs.”