Huge Boeing Orders at Risk if US Rolls Back from Open Skies Agreement With UAE

Sir Tim Clark, president of Emirates Airlines has implied that withdrawing the breakthrough 1999 Open Skies agreement between the United Arab Emirates and the United States could lead to a modification or a cancellation of the 150 Boeing aircrafts his company ordered at the 2013 Dubai Airshow.

Speaking during an interview with Business Insider, Clark referenced its pending deliveries for 150 next-generations Boeing 777s, which were ordered at a record $76 billion.

Emirates’ $16 billion order for 300 GE9x engines from the United States Manufacturer GE Aviation will also be affected by any alteration or cancellation.

American, Delta, and United Airlines, the 3 big US carriers have been urging the US government to penalize Middle Eastern carriers, particularly Emirates, on the accusation that their growth has been driven by government subsidies which is alleged to exceed $50 billion.

Clark has been vocal in his outrage against the accusations made by the United States airlines calling their arguments “spurious, to the ninth degree”, in an interview with Arabian Business at the Dubai Airshow 2017 in November.

Claiming that his airline is not subsidized, Clark said that American carriers know the truth as they all interact at industry level, at financial services level and they share the same debt provider. He said it was clear that Emirates doesn’t receive any subsidies whatsoever.

He further pointed at the Emirate’s financial statements was proof enough that the airline is always ready to dispel any argument that the company receives assistance from the state.

Clark further told Business Insider that the Dubai government which owns Emirates does not have to publish anything. However, they publish everything to the 6th decimal place and they are audited.

On the Open Skies agreement signed between the UAE and the US in 1999, Clark said the only condition involved in the agreement were that there would be no UAE domestic airline flights within the US.

He added in the interview that the agreement did not talk about state-ownership of aircraft or part ownership of aircraft by the state.

Clark added that cancelling the Open Skies agreement would only cause problems for the United States aviation industry, because of the number of other airlines in the world, which includes China and France, in which local governments have large stakes in airlines.

He added that if the US were to take action against Emirates, then it would be opening a Pandora’s Box of headaches because you will have to effectively change everything.

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