‘Anti-subsidy’ US doles $71.5 bn to just 3 airlines
Etihad Airways on Friday said that the US government has provided America’s three biggest airlines with more than $70 billion in benefits and concessions, citing a report it commissioned. The Abu Dhabi-based airline has itself come under attack from US rivals over subsidies.
“US airlines have received benefits valued at $71.48 billion, more than $70 billion of which has been since 2000, enabling the nation’s three largest carriers to transition from the verge of bankruptcy to today’s industry leaders,” a statement from Etihad said. Last year, the three largest US carriers posted profits of almost $9 billion, close to half the gains racked up by the entire worldwide aviation industry, the airline added.
In early March, American Airlines, Delta Airlines and United Airlines, along with US airline labour groups, accused Gulf carriers of enjoying interest-free loans, subsidised airport charges, and government protection on fuel losses that are considered unfair subsidies by the WTO. They asked the US government to open talks on bilateral air <g data-gr-id="14">pacts</g> to address ‘violations of those pacts’, giving the Gulf carriers unfair competitive advantage.