Foreign Policy (Magazine): “The Arab Battle for U.S. Skies”

Now, even the Foreign Policy magazine has decided to tackle the issue between the US airlines against the Middle Eastern three of Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways.

Foreign Policy The Arab Battle for U.S. Skies

The article on the Foreign Policy that is available on their website is a nice read that tries to go deeper than the other pieces that I have seen written on this topic and is a must read for those that are interested in on this topic.

You can access the Foreign Policy piece here of which below are some excerpts:

It’s worth noting that state support is, well, complicated. It’s not as if U.S. carriers take to the skies without their own state-backed safety nets. After the 9/11 attacks, U.S. carriers received some $15 billion in direct cash payments and loan guarantees from Washington. What’s more, the Fly America Act demands that U.S. government employees use U.S. carriers for domestic and international travel — a boon to the industry. On my regular United Airlines economy-class flights to Dubai, I sit among a virtual army of U.S. military contractors headed to Kabul, Baghdad, and Islamabad via Dubai. According to the General Services Administration, the U.S. government spends a whopping $9 billion on travel. Isn’t that a form of state support?

The three hubs of Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Doha are blessed with fortunate commercial geography: They are a four-hour flight to one-third of the world’s population and an eight-hour flight to two-thirds. Any self-respecting McKinsey study would have told these governments to build air hubs and national airlines to exploit their comparative geographic advantage. And they did.

But the story goes deeper than that, and it underscores a cornerstone of U.S. aviation policy: accords known as “open skies” agreements. Since 1992, the United States has negotiated more than 100 such agreements around the world, which are widely credited with expanding the global footprint of the U.S. Big Three. According to the State Department, the policy also benefits American cities like Dallas-Fort Worth, Detroit, Las Vegas, Memphis, Minneapolis, Portland, and Salt Lake City, which had virtually no international flights prior to 1992. It’s also a boon to U.S. tourism, air cargo, airports, and the aviation industry writ large.


This Foreign Policy piece is very interesting read and thanks for LoyaltyLobby readers sending me a link to it (you can always email me a link to interesting travel related articles you come across).

The article illustrates how dependent of the Dubai’s economy already is on the aviation sector and how it is expected to reach 45% of the GDP by 2030.