DUBAI May 5 Dubai carrier Emirates will deliver
a "sledgehammer" response to a report compiled by U.S. carriers
accusing major Gulf airlines of receiving more than $40 billion
in unfair government subsidies, its president Tim Clark said on
"Having read the report, you could drive a bulldozer through
just about everything ... We will deal a sledgehammer to that
report as far as Emirates and Dubai is concerned," Clark said at
a conference in Dubai.
Clark did not say when any formal response would be
delivered, but the airline's CEO Sheikh Ahmed Al Maktoum told
reporters in Dubai it would be fair if it had two years to put
together a reply since the U.S. carriers took that long to
produce their report.
Clark, who previously said he would resign if the report
proved accurate, invited the heads of the three U.S. carriers
making the accusations to follow suit if they are disproved.
"If you are wrong, and we show you to be wrong ... will you
resign? What will do when this rebuttal comes back at you and
shows the political entities that you've managed to orchestrate
to come behind you that you are fundamentally wrong?"
Delta Air Lines, American Airlines and United
Airlines alleged in January that Emirates, Etihad
Airways and Qatar Airways received more $40 billion in state
subsidies in the last decade, allowing them to drive down ticket
prices and push competitors out of key markets.
More than 250 members of Congress signed a letter urging the
U.S. departments of state and transportation to seek
consultations with Qatar and the United Arab Emirates over the
Clark said the argument of stealing market share was weak as
many of the destinations in the Middle East, Africa and Asia
were minimally served by U.S. carriers.
"We have never been subsidised. We have never received from
the government of Dubai any kind of ... special treatment,"
Clark said, adding that the airline's growth had been achieved
without state intervention or state funding but instead came
from its own cash flow, debt issuance and earnings.
The airline has also played up its purchases from U.S. and
European manufacturers, such as last month's $9.2 billion
engines order from Rolls-Royce.
(Editing by David Holmes)