A senior Boeing official has indicated that the U.S. aircraft manufacturer doesn't believe the Obama administration will restrict Emirates, Etihad and Qatar airlines from expanding its network in the U.S., despite lobbying efforts by American, United and Delta to stop the Gulf carriers from adding any more destinations in the U.S.
During a media visit to Boeing's Renton, Washington offices last week, reporters quoted Marty Bentrott, Boeing’s Vice President Sales for Middle East, Russia and Central Asia as saying that he
didn't see "the current (U.S.) administration pressing forward to introduce changes.”
The U.S. airlines allege the Gulf carriers have received billions in state subsidies, which the three U.S. airlines claim breaches the U.S. open skies policy. The Gulf carriers deny they are being subsidised.
Boeing openly supports open skies policy
Bentrott said the launch of Emirates’ tenth U.S. destination (Orlando, Florida) on September 1, suggests the U.S. government is not interested in getting involved. “There have been no inhibitors to that new route,” Bentrott noted.
Although Boeing has avoided being dragged into the open skies debate because all six airlines are major customers, the aircraft manufacturer has said throughout this year that it supports the U.S.’ existing open skies policy which allows foreign airlines to fly unrestricted from overseas to points in the U.S.
Bentrott also said he believes the open skies debate is running out of steam in the U.S. with the American public becoming less and less interested because of controversies surrounding the U.S. airlines including allegations they colluded to limit seats and raise airfares.
Nol van Fenema