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Long-winded: Are airlines in the West going overboard when it comes to Gulf competition?

Long-winded: Are airlines in the West going overboard when it comes to Gulf competition?

IATA urges Western carriers to stop blocking expansion of Gulf rivals. Given the lagging aviation business in the West, Kipp is split on this one. Which side are you on?

June 12, 2011 2:50 by

Giovanni Bisignani, head of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), has urged European and Canadian airlines to stop lobbying to block the expansion of Gulf airlines.

Called for “a more responsible approach to industry competition”, Bisignani made the statement during a recent IATA gathering in Singapore, according to an article from The National.

Emirates Airline, Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways stand to benefit if there is easier access to passengers in Europe and North America. In the meantime, the likes of Air France, Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines and Air Canada have been proactively opposing the growth of their Gulf rivals.

ACE Aviation Holdings chief executive Robert Milton, for example, says “it hardly seems a fair match” as he describes the three Gulf carriers as “the most protected airlines around” because they were state-owned and supported.

Some delegates present during at the meeting see the expansion of the Gulf carriers as inevitable, in some cases accusing those opposed to it of protectionism.

Here at Kipp, there’s a divide on viewpoints for this issue, one half siding on protectionism and the other routing for more open skies. Check out the two sides and tell us which one you’re routing for…

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  1. Zac on June 12, 2011 4:17 pm

    western airlines have been fleecing customers for ages with low quality of services at a high price. They will never be able to beat the new carriers which are doing an excellent job at satisfying passenger needs thru lower fares and far better services. The western airlines have become so complacent with ‘profits’ and price gouging that they just refuse to keep up with competition. It is about time these ‘legacy’ flag carriers realized the value of evolving to customer needs- like most of theAsian carriers. Ultimately every global passenger desires lower fares and better services and just one stop before the destination instead of multiple transits with waiting times in unwanted destinations which add to expenses and time. Besides most of these Western carriers are unionised and over paid. They love to protect the ‘dinosaur’ that is actually eating them up.

  2. Andrew on June 13, 2011 7:04 am

    Whilst I appreciate the quality provided by the new carriers, some of them do receive both direct and indirect support by virtue of where they’re based.

    I’m all for good quality, but it does need to be a level playing field otherwise we’ll end up back where we started; a small number of airlines dominating the market, zealously controlling and protecting their market.


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