Gulf-based airlines accused of state subsidy-fuelled expansion
Emirates is ignoring claims made by European airlines that its plans to aggressively expand to key hubs across the continent is effectively being fuelled by state sponsorship. The airline is busy implementing plans to order more aircraft and launch more routes. Carriers in Europe are frustrated by the Gulf carriers’ plans to compete at their hubs with large aircraft. Emirates, which currently flies to 111 destinations and posted a 52% increase in profits last year, plans in the near future to fly to “several hundred destinations”. It will announce new aircraft orders this coming November at the Dubai Airshow.
Emirates Chairman Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum: “I’m sure this will make a lot of people unhappy, but the market is there to grow. Airlines in Europe don’t want to see us there because we are giving them competition. But we get good market share because of the product.”