“Americans For Fair Skies” Chimes In On Emirates’ New Orlando Flight

Filed Under: Emirates, Media

There’s a battle going on between the “big three” US airlines and the “big three” Middle Eastern carriers. I’ve shared my thoughts about why the US carriers can’t compete with the Gulf carriers under the current system. And I think the US carriers are right for expressing their grievances, regardless of whether anything comes of it or not.

That being said, what’s truly shameful is how the US carriers are choosing to make their case. It started off with Delta’s CEO, Richard Anderson, linking the “big three” Middle Eastern carriers to 9/11. Unfortunately it hasn’t gotten much better from there.

The US carriers have set up some political action committees through which to voice their concerns, and they’re being run more like middle school smear campaigns than organizations actually looking to create change.

For example, here’s their 30 second TV spot, which completely misses the point they should be making:

Unfortunately it’s only getting worse from there. Yesterday Emirates announced that they’ll be launching service to Orlando as of September 1, 2015. Here’s what “Americans for Fair Skies” had to say about it, via an email they sent out, as well as via their Facebook page:

Today, it was announced that Emirates will begin service to Orlando, FL in September. Americans for Fair Skies sees an interesting parallel here since Orlando is the home of Disney World and like Mickey Mouse, Emirates is not real.

It’s make believe. It’s not a company. What is not a fairy tale, however, is that Emirates is an arm of the Dubai government, located in the United Arab Emirates.

But unlike the magic of Disney World, Emirates and the other two subsidized Gulf carriers, Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways, are threatening U.S. aviation jobs and distorting the international marketplace.

It’s time to restore ‪#‎FairSkies‬ and end the ‪#‎MiddleEastSubsidies‬. The US government MUST open consultations with the UAE and Qatar to level the playing field and end the world’s largest trade violation.



  1. Lucky, do you think what happens to Virgn Airlines will happen to Emirates? Will Emirates find some America partners and found an airline just for USA? (So it could be a U.S. airline yet the company will need pay Emieates branding fee)

  2. Who runs this PAC and writes these emails, a bunch of teenagers? In parlance, how lame.
    No substance at all, just sophomoric remarks. The whole battle between the ME3 and the legacy US carriers is comical.

  3. @ Usidhk — I highly doubt it. The UAE government wouldn’t be allowed to own a majority of the company, and obviously they’d be operating under completely different work rules. I do think they’ll try to get cozier with the US airlines, though, in hopes of getting more access to US routes.

  4. Ben,
    I do think that the “big three” Middle Eastern carriers are right in their stand. Their government is the parent company and as a parent company they have the right to inject money into the three carriers.

  5. My biggest issue is not that ME3 are subsidized and are competing with the legacy carriers but is how the legacy carriers dig their head into the sand and don’t provide a service that creates real loyalty for their products. I have to travel for work internationally frequently, and I am very lucky that I can choose airlines (no corporate contract) when I always looked at options for Oneworld I will go with Cathay for Asia travel, USAirways for Europe (they are better than AA on hard product) and LAN for Latin America, for Sky team I use Korea to Asia and have no choice but Delta for Europe and Latin America, I would never travel in a USA legacy carrier to Asia, Can’t USA legacy carriers understand that their international service is not at part with global competition?

  6. This is probably arbitrary, but I find it interesting that, on one hand the U.S. airlines are complaining, but on the other I, as a consumer, can book a paid (or redeemed mileage) flight on one of these three airlines, sometimes at a rate lower than the legacy carriers. I do see some valid points in the arguments against a state-owned airline, but consumers like bright, shiny things; find ways to do that, ESPECIALLY domestically, and I think flyers will follow.

  7. They’re moaning about losing American jobs? How many jobs have airplane orders with Boeing from the ME3 created?

    If this escalates I can see Emirates, Etihad and Qatar cancelling their Boeing orders and going Airbus instead, then they’d have something to complain about!

  8. If they actually allowed comments to their facebook posts, I’m sure they wouldn’t be pleased by most replies…

  9. Pretty standard lobbying tactics though. I’m not saying it’s necessarily fair competition either but I hate lobbyists across the board. Oversimplifying issues and using fear to further political issues. They may sound like grade schoolers but the simple writing and tinge of racism / islamaphobia is no accident…

  10. Consumers love competition. Businesses, not so much. It is to be expected that the ones for whom the competition from the Middle East Carriers is a nuisance will do everything they can to stop them from expanding in North America, but let’s just hope that they don’t win so we continue to see competition and have access to better products than what the US Carriers offer us.

  11. To be fair, US Airlines have some of the best frequent flier program in the world. Singapore Airlines treat their elite members of KrisFlyers program like shit. Even you are a star alliance Gold, you will still feel humiliated on Singapore Airlines departing from SIN airport. (Unless you fly business / first cabin)

  12. Wow! Linking Open Skies to Sept 11/2001. Yet again preying on the (general) American public’s fear of the alien hordes, which is informed by nothing more than the US government’s desire to control its people by issuing periodic false flags to keep ’em under control.
    And yes, the same thing is starting to happen here in Canada under our right-wing regime. That’s the real scary part — not competition and the real or imagined threat of terrorism on our shores.

    ‘Dick’ Anderson: you are aptly named, much like Cheney from the days of yore

  13. Anybody else pulling their hair out when reading about this drama? I can certainly say I am, as there’s quite a few problems with Lucky’s argument. The biggest one is that the gulf carriers and American carriers do not compete on almost any routes. Delta has one ATL- DXB route, united has one IAD – DXB route, and besides that the only other route where it could be said that the gulf carriers compete with US airlines would be United’s Newark to Delhi/Mumbai. They don’t compete on routes with United States airlines, this isn’t a huge crisis. That being said, European carriers do have a point that could be made.

  14. Well this is some Micky Mouse shit.

    Funny that they lists Mechanic as job that departs, I was under the impression that a lot of those job was out sourced already when US airlines tarted send their planes for Heavy maintenance outside the US in places like Panama? Do any of the Big 3 do their D checks in the US?

    While it’s difficult to do any thing with cabin crew attitudes (sadly) they should at least focus on the catering as a start and possibly lounges and cabin upgrades in the bit longer run. All of this is a lot cheaper than buying brand new planes and would still make the Big 3 a lot more competitive.

  15. @Andrew

    What they are afraid of is 5 freedom flights, especially from Europe and in the longer run from Asia. Say that Emirates BKK-HKG flight not stopping in HKG for return the same way it came, but going on the US

  16. Why doesn’t this US3 funded PAC complain about outsourced maintenance by the US3 that has literally shipped US jobs to countries with more ‘favorable’ (to the airlines) labor and tax laws? Where is this PAC when baggage and ground staff are being fired and rehired using labor-subsidiaries to cut costs and avoid benefits by the US3 in a time they are enjoying unprecedented profits and lowered domestic competition?

    The US3 have single-handedly enjoyed the greatest market subsidy in aviation, that is protection of the US domestic market from foreign competition and the antitrust immunity for the TATL and TPAC JVs that allow them to print money.

    At least the ME3 don’t obscure who they hire and what they pay through corporate chicanery and creative legal structures or use the courts via Chapter 11 to shed obligations and promises made.

    I am surprised so many intelligent people are giving credence to the self-serving arguments of the US3, who have no clean hands whatsoever. I mean these are the same tactics used by defense contractors to deny open competition for the use of our tax dollars in equipping our military while at the same time they have our govt forcing foreign govts to open up their military procurement, see Air refueling debacle.

  17. The hypocrisy of this outfit is breathtaking. Every week I read another story about how US airlines are outsourcing jobs overseas or reducing their employee bases at airports, replacing them with contractors who pay their employees much less and provide fewer benefits. The Gulph carriers are hardly better employers, but US airlines have no right to complain about how competing them will “threaten US aviation jobs” when they are threatening those jobs themselves.

  18. I seen NOTHING wrong with the language of the Fair Skies release. This flight is an economic “fantasy.” Where is the daily demand for 48 lie-flat biz class seats and 8 first class suites to Dubai? Heck, Orlando can barely get ANY transatlantic air service because it lacks the business demand. Long haul rarely works without biz travel. When it does, you stuff the plane to the gills. Yet, Emirates is flying the aircraft will low density to cater to all the imaginary biz class demand.

    This would never work in the “real world.” Ever.

    I know lots of folks say “so what” — they offer good service and prices. But our government should not assist government-owned companies competing against our private enterprise. That’s not the American way, and this nonsense should be stopped.

  19. Marc, consumers are very often short-sighted. They love competition … but they don’t love losing their jobs, they don’t like their cities to decline because of lost jobs, and they don’t like paying higher taxes to support a greater number of people receiving public aid due to lost jobs.

  20. What they are really trying to say about Middle East Carriers
    We might be forced to serve a premium meal on board that doesn’t suck
    We might have to treat our passengers respectfully and be friendly
    We might have to offer comfortable seats clean planes and newer aircraft
    We might not be able to monopolize on pricing as we originally anticipated by merging
    We might have to offer more award seats

  21. Oh, the hypocrisy. The ad says they want to restore competition by eliminating the Gulf carriers? Maybe they need to look up the definition of competition.

  22. @groobs I didn’t think about that.. Pretty interesting and valid point!.. And I love and trust Boeings!

  23. @HHs well if you’re KF gold and not PPS you’re not really an elite traveller in SQ eyes, you’re just a frequent anonymous member of cattle class 😀

  24. EK is not the first ME3 airline to service MCO. EY already has a direct flight from AUH.
    When you check travel times from Southeast US to Asian cities like New Delhi, Mumbai, Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur, etc, you might actually have less flying eastward through DXB. EK is in the business of using DXB as a transfer hub. It is not surprising to see them to operate in MCO as a test stop for the Southeast followed by MIA and ATL.

  25. Fact of the matter of course here is that US airlines in general offer a totally unattractive product and experience. Domestically they might get away with as people have no alternatives, it but for international routes there are many more appealing options available. While in some cases the hard product is still reasonable, but never leading, and food might still be acceptable but never impressive, it is generally the staff attitude that kills any remaining appetite to use them. Especially check in staff and ground staff in the US is horribly bad in terms of attitude. I was recently on 4 AA international flights. While AA ground staff outside the US was friendly, pleasant and helpful, the experiences in Miami were worse than bad and appalling attitudes were displayed. I am not used to being balked at while checking in at a BC counter and surely would not volunteer for it if alternatives are available. Because of this it is not surprising at all that when offered a choice, people prefer flying any airline that offers a decent end to end experience. So all this whining about the ME3 is merely serving to camouflage the fact that US carriers do not have any intention to get their own housekeeping in check.

  26. Instead of whining so much, why don’t the U.S. carriers provide something that can actually compete? U.S. carriers are subsidized as well! Chapter 11 allows carriers to continue in operation, even with massive debts. This is something not offered in the Middle East. Also, the Essential Air Service program subsidizes flights in the US, another thing the gulf carriers do not have access to.

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