The United States and the UAE have struck a deal in which they â€œstrongly reaffirmed the 2002 UAE-US Air Transport Agreement and the fundamental principles of Open Skiesâ€, following years of dispute between the regionsâ€™ carriers.
According to USA Today, Emirates â€“ accused of unfair competition by rivals Delta, American Airlines and United Airlines â€“ has agreed to â€œvoluntarily open up their accounting books by publishing annual financial statements â€˜consistent with internationally recognized accounting standardsâ€™â€.
The report also states that Emirates currently has no plans to launch direct â€œFifth Freedomâ€ flights between the US and destinations other than the United Arab Emirates, the airlineâ€™s home country.
The Associated Press reported that an agreement was signed between US Assistant Secretary of State Manisha Singh and Emirati ambassador to the US, Yousef al-Otaiba, after extended negotiations. The financial disclosures are an attempt to assuage concerns among US airlines that Emirates received substantial subsidies from the UAE government, resulting in unfair competition.
The US airlines also objected to Emirates launching so-called â€œFifth Freedomâ€ flights, which would take passengers from the US to other countries without a stop in the UAE. The deal does not mean an end to government subsidies of Emirates; rather it both acknowledges that such payments can hurt competition and are â€œneither uncommon nor necessarily problematic.â€
or its part Emirates said that it â€œwelcomes the conclusion of informal technical discussions between delegations representing the Governments of the UAE and the United Statesâ€, and stressed that â€œcontrary to some media reports, there is no freeze on any of the operating rights prescribed in the Air Transport Agreement or any tacit undertakings to do soâ€.
â€œThe Record of Discussion also makes clear that the UAE and its designated carriers are, and have been at all times in full compliance with the Agreement, and that there were never any violations of the Agreement by UAE carriersâ€, added the Gulf carrier.
The US came to a similar deal with Qatar regarding Qatar Airways in January 2018.