Register for our free newsletter

Latest News

Are Gulf carriers getting too big for their boots?

Are Gulf carriers getting too big for their boots?

Canada denies the UAE valuable landing slots while European carriers seek restrictions. It should be fine, as long as everyone acts in a mature fashion. Unfortunately, this is the Middle East.

October 11, 2010 2:30 by

In typically mature fashion, the UAE has responded by closing a military camp near Dubai used by Canadian troops fighting in Afghanistan. Gulf News also reports that trade ties between the two countries look set to suffer.

With the likes of Fly Dubai expanding, and RAK Air re-commencing services, these developments are the first major set-back to the almost serene growth of the region’s airlines.

There are two ways to look at this: first, it might be that the Gulf airlines are indeed unfairly advantaged, and Canada and Europe are taking justifiable stands to protect their businesses. In which case, the governments of those countries will no doubt do their best to protect domestic companies, just as the UAE would do for Emirates or Etihad if the roles were reversed. Even if the playing field is level and Europe and Canada are less justified, governments in the GCC would do well to be as patient and as amicable as possible – the economic growth of the region is in part linked to how well connected we are to Europe, and severing ties is good for no one.

On the other hand, perhaps Europe and Canada should beware: the GCC is the economic powerhouse behind most of the MENA region. As this part of the world becomes more economically important, demand for access will soar and Europe’s carriers may find themselves shut out of the market in retaliation for their current defensive stance.

Either way one thing is for sure: Established carriers view the young GCC airlines as a major threat. We must be doing something right.

Pages: 1 2

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Miss Anne Thropic on October 14, 2010 8:37 am

    Airlines such as Air Canada cannot possibly compete with Emirates and Etihad who get massive support from the government. At the end of the day, it’s Canada’s airport so it’s their call as to who lands there. The UAE, with its own “it’s our country, we can do as we please” attitude just doesn’t like it when the shoe is on the other foot.

    Also, kudos to Kipp for being the first UAE media outlet to mention the military base issue in this story.

  2. Mr. Sal on October 14, 2010 11:31 am

    Air Canada (with Canadian French speaking) and Air France are trying to monopoly the air travel between Europe and Canada.

    Emirates air line does not get a massive support from the government.

    Emirates air line provide many jobs for the people that operate on.

    i think the solution for U.A.E is:

    To buy the lobbies groups in Canada specially the french speaking people “you can find many with north African Arab background”.

    make a campaign inside Canada to show the benefits of opening the air to Emirates.

    counter attack all the lies and cheap fallacy against Emirates air lines in the Canadian media.

  3. Andrew on October 14, 2010 3:00 pm

    Mr. Sal. Go and buy a box of rocks so you’ll have something of a similar intellectual capability to converse with. If you think Emirates and Etihad don’t reap the benefits of partial or complete government ownership, no taxation, and cheap regional labour costs – you’re deluding yourself.

    The Emirates increasingly reminds me of the Virgin Group and Richard Branson; constantly trumpeting free trade and competition – but generating most of its revenues from business units that are in limited competition or outright monopoly situations.

    If Canada wants to trade Camp Mirage for the issue of landing rights that’s their right, especially given the incredibly petty reaction of the UAE to deny landing rights for Canada’s armed forces minister and chief of staff to land at their own base.

  4. Miss Anne Thropic on October 16, 2010 8:46 am

    I am baffled at Mr Sal’s idea to raise up a French-speaking lobby group of north African-Arab background to take on the Canadian government. What a great plan. Does he really think a small minority group who is probably delighted to be enjoying Canada’s freedoms will gleefully rise up against a country with which they owe no loyalty? And even they did rise up, what would it achieve apart from a racist reaction from any Canadian Islamophobes out there?


Leave a Comment