The Partnership for Open & Fair Skies, a coalition of top US airlines and unions, has sent an open letter to President Donald Trump, urging action to address alleged trade violations by the UAE and Qatar
The letter, which has been published in the New York Times and the New York Post, claims that the emergence of Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways on US routes threaten 1.2 million American jobs.
The letter comes amid claims from US carriers that the Gulf carriers have “received more than $50 billion in subsidies and other unfair benefits from their government sponsors”, which they say is at odds with US policy and violates Open Skies agreements.
All three airlines have continuously denied the claims.
A six-figure television ad buy will also run for the next three weeks.
The advertisements come on the heels of Emirates’ new, year-round flight from Athens, Greece to Newark, New Jersey. US aviation workers rallied at Newark Liberty International Airport on Sunday to protest the flight for violating an important international agreement with the United States.
The US has 120 Open Skies agreements with countries around the world that, when enforced, promote economic growth and benefits for airlines, workers and passengers.
The coalition said in a statement the UAE and Qatar have instead violated their agreements with the US.
“The billions of dollars in illegal Gulf carrier subsidies are brazen violations of our Open Skies agreements and a perfect example of the type of trade cheating that President Trump abhors,” said Jill Zuckman, chief spokesperson for the Partnership for Open & Fair Skies.
“There are 1.2 million quality American jobs that are being threatened every day by Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways. We are respectfully looking to President Trump and his administration for help.”
The letter to President Trump has been signed by American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, the Air Line Pilots Association, the Allied Pilots Association, the Southwest Airlines Pilots’ Association, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants and the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA.