Gulf carriers grab bigger market share

US airlines appeal to White House for action
Airlines in the USA are steadily losing valuable market share to aggressive, cash-rich rivals from the Middle East – and now they are appealing to the White House for action.
Delta, United and American and their European joint-venture partners, such as British Airways and Air France, have lost at least five percentage points of their share of flight bookings to destinations in the Indian subcontinent (34% in 2014 from 39% in 2008). The share of the same market by Emirates, Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways has jumped from 12% seven years ago to 40% today.
The market between the eastern United States and Southeast Asia has also taken a beating. The share of bookings for US airlines and their joint-venture partners has fallen from 43% to 36%, while Gulf carriers have expanded their share from 1% to 13%.
More recently, US carriers’ share of flights to Milan has also taken a hit.
US airlines highlighted the problem in a 55-page white paper to the White House and departments of state, transportation and commerce. They want the US government to change or terminate the Open Skies agreements on commercial flights to and from the United States signed more than a decade ago.
They argue that the Gulf airlines allegedly get subsidies from their governments – more than $40 billion in loans, tax exemptions and other support since 2004 – which is against US trade policy.
[image courtesy Etihad Airways]


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