world's largest long-haul airline said Monday it would start
daily flights to New Jersey's Newark Liberty International
Airport via Athens on March 12.
Dubai-based Emirates already operates four daily flights to John
F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, including one with
a stop off in Milan.
Fifth freedom rights allow an airline to fly between foreign
countries as a part of services to and from its home country.
Delta <DAL.N> and other U.S. airlines have accused major Gulf
carriers -- Emirates, Abu Dhabi's Etihad Airways and Qatar
Airways - of receiving tens of billions of dollars in unfair
subsidies, and urged the former Obama Administration to halt the
Open Skies agreement. The Gulf carriers deny the allegations.
The Obama Administration ultimately declined to take action
against the Gulf carriers who are owned by governments of Middle
East allies Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
U.S. airline lobby group Open & Fair Skies has said it is
optimistic the new administration of President Donald Trump
would "enforce our trade agreements and fight for American
“We look forward to briefing President-elect Donald Trump and
his new administration on the massive, unfair subsidies that the
UAE and Qatar give to their state-owned Gulf carriers,” said
Jill Zuckman, chief spokesperson for the Partnership for Open
and Fair Skies, on Nov. 9.
The lobby group is likely to put pressure on authorities to stop
the Dubai-Athens-Newark route before it starts, said Will
Horton, senior analyst at CAPA - Centre for Aviation.
However, the U.S. carriers will have a hard time arguing that
the Emirates flight is damaging given that U.S. carriers do not
fly to Greece year-round, Horton said in emailed comments.
Emirates President Tim Clark said the Greek government
approached the airline "some time ago" to start a flight between
Athens and New York, according to an airline statement.
(This version of the story corrects to show only one New York
flight stops at Milan, paragraph three)
(Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)
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