New U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council Aviation Report Released
Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) has been running an aggressive PR campaign in the United
States to win support for its state-sponsored airlines. A
new report by the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council goes as far as to exalt the
benefits to U.S. workers from the commercial aviation partnership between the
United States and the U.A.E.
However, the report fails to mention that Emirates’ and Etihad’s expansion
poses a direct threat to U.S. pilot and aviation jobs. While the report heralds
the value of this aviation “partnership,” only 2 of the 13 daily U.S.–U.A.E.
nonstop flights are operated by U.S. airlines, and no U.S. airline flies into or
out of Abu Dhabi. Furthermore, the U.A.E. airlines do not need to adhere to
labor relations rules comparable to those that govern our domestic carriers, and
they operate at a competitive cost advantage thanks to the U.A.E.’s favorable
tax and regulatory structure.
Increased international air travel certainly has the
potential to deliver economic benefits to the United States; however, the U.S.
government should promote policies that ensure U.S. aviation jobs are protected
as this expansion occurs and promote the growth and success of our domestic
As a starting point, ALPA has proposed reducing the tax burden on U.S.
airlines, maintaining strong foreign ownership and cabotage restrictions, and
avoiding gifting one-sided advantages to foreign competitors, such as the
creation of a CBP preclearance facility at Abu Dhabi airport. You can read more
about ALPA’s policy proposals in our
“Leveling the Playing Field” white paper.