Members of Congress Urge President Trump to Bar New Emirates Flight from Athens to Newark Until Rule-Breaking Subsidies are Addressed

Washington, D.C. (March 8, 2017) – Today, 25 Members of Congress from the New York/New Jersey area sent a bipartisan letter to President Donald Trump urging him to take action to enforce America’s Open Skies agreements with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar. The letter comes as Emirates, a state-owned airline of the UAE, launches a new route that violates this important international agreement and directly harms New Jersey and New York workers.

On Sunday, March 12th, Emirates plans to begin flying roundtrip between Athens, Greece, and Newark, New Jersey, a route that was announced on just the third day of President Trump’s new administration. Given the threat that this new route and other subsidy-fueled, Gulf carrier expansion pose to U.S. workers and the American aviation industry, the bipartisan members of Congress called on President Trump’s administration to “bar the commencement of the Athens to Newark flight” until the subsidies are addressed.

"Foreign governments that violate their agreements with the United States need to be held accountable," the letter said. "Like you, we believe that our trade agreements must be enforced so that foreign governments understand that they can't break the rules."
In response, Jill Zuckman, chief spokesperson for the Partnership for Open & Fair Skies, expressed her appreciation.

“The Partnership is grateful that these leaders are willing to stand up and fight for the hundreds of thousands of American jobs at risk from the Gulf carriers' cheating. They know that their constituents depend on the free and fair competition that allows the $1.5 trillion aviation industry to function,” said Zuckman. “President Trump has made it clear he intends to crack down on trade cheaters who violate our international agreements. We hope he will side with Congress and bar the new Emirates flight to send a message that the Trump administration will not tolerate rule-breaking that costs American jobs."

The Partnership for Open and Fair Skies has documented over $50 billion in subsidies that the UAE and Qatar have funneled to their state-owned airlines – Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways – as part of a scheme to dominate global aviation, to the detriment of fair-playing U.S. carriers and hundreds of thousands of American workers and in clear violation of their Open Skies agreements with the United States. This cheating makes it impossible for fair-playing American businesses to compete. And every time a route is cancelled due to unfair Gulf carrier expansion, 1,500 hard-working American jobs are lost.