There is a very interesting article on WSJ about the rise of the Middle Eastern airlines of Emirates, Qatar, and Etihad in the United States. You can access the full article on WSJ’s website here.
These three airlines are constantly expanding their routes between their home cities of Dubai, Doha, and Abu Dhabi and all the major cities in the United States. Emirates also recently started to fly between Milan and New York.
The US airlines are not fond of this, as these entrants vacuum traffic that would have otherwise taken the US airlines flights to Europe and then connected to final destinations in the Middle East, Indian Subcontinent, and Asia using partner airlines.
The CEO of Delta blames that the airlines are run as part of the government and that their profitability wouldn’t matter.
American Airlines has partnership with both Etihad and the Qatar Airways, which just joined the Oneworld alliance, and doesn’t appear to have such a negative view of these gulf airlines as United and Delta do.
The CEO of Emirates suggests that the US airlines should get own houses in order instead of complaining about competitors. All the major US airlines except Southwest Airlines have gone through the bankruptcy proceedings at least once and some even twice.
The rise of the Middle Eastern airlines is certainly very interesting topic. Emirates, Etihad and Qatar have all expended their network in Europe for years to connect passengers to Middle East, Asia, and Australasia. The European airlines are not very happy about this development either.