Saturday, January 29, 2011

Politics and The Airlines

In the news today "Emirates, Etihad get France Clearance" Gulf News today 29 January 2011 (click here for full story) reported that a tentative agreement was reached to grant additional 22 weekly flights to Emirates and Etihad (4 to Paris and 7 to other French  cities). These were granted despite Air France-KLM lobbying the government to refuse granting the authorities on the basis that lower taxes and airport fees in their home bases give the carriers an unfair advantage.

Air France-KLM position has been made public for weeks, right at the time Canada refused to grant additional flights to the UAE carriers. However, a few weeks after both the government and Air Canada opposed Air Services to Qatar, Canada granted authority to Qatar Airways (a CS order with Bombardier was probably at stake). It appears that the French Government are smarter than the Canadian, they did not listen to the parochial demands of their airline, at stake are mega orders with Airbus and a Rafale deal that was faltering. The Government decided that what is at stake transcends the potential losses of an airline on a couple of routes.

Legacy Airlines have conveniently forgotten that aviation and airlines are very much affected by politics and economic conditions and realities that far transcends the immediate needs of individual airlines.

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