WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council President Danny Sebright issued a counter response to a recent letter written by Senior VP of Delta, Ms. Andrea Newman. Sebright asks that Delta release, for a fair and public review, its “study" on airline subsidies and he provides facts on the enormous economic benefits and American jobs at home derived from Gulf carriers non-stop flights to the U.S.
The following is the complete letter from Danny Sebright to Andrea Newman;
Dear Ms. Newman,
Thank you for your prompt response to my February 18 letter. We welcome an informed and responsible discussion on the benefits of Open Skies. Richard Anderson’s comments linking 9/11 to Open Skies certainly fell well below that measure. Delta’s CEO never publicly apologized and your company’s indifferent apology did little to acquit either Delta or its CEO.
Furthermore, we strongly disagree with your assessment about the allocation of benefits under Open Skies. Open Skies did exactly what was promised – spurring rapid growth in bilateral airline services, generating huge sales of U.S. commercial aircraft, and stimulating the overall trade relationship.
While U.S. airlines were distracted by mergers and bankruptcies or focused on expanding their own Asia routes or locking in antitrust immunity with their European partners, U.A.E. airlines expanded rapidly. They saw an opportunity to connect the U.S. and Europe via ideally located Dubai and Abu Dhabi hubs to rapidly growing markets in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.
These new services have brought tens of millions of additional travelers into the global and U.S. aviation networks. For example, in a letter to D.O.T. Secretary Anthony Foxx, JetBlue Airways noted that new Emirates Airlines service between Dubai and Boston allowed the airline to “successfully launch new domestic service between Boston and Detroit,” increasing passenger traffic between those two cities by nearly 70 percent (and lowering fares on a route previously monopolized by Delta by 33 percent).
These compelling and irrefutable benefits may be the reason that virtually every single stakeholder in U.S. commercial aviation has lined up against Delta in its efforts to restrict Open Skies. This includes U.S. airports, travel and hospitality companies, business travelers, and cargo airlines.
The positive impact of Open Skies on the U.S.-U.A.E. relationship is clear and was documented in a 2013 study commissioned by the U.S.-U.A.E. Business Council:
- More than $16 billion in benefits to the U.S. (direct and indirect spending), more than 100,000 jobs, and over $1.6 billion in tax revenue.
- Aircraft orders that total $37 billion (at list prices) and over time will support more than 200,000 high-paying U.S. manufacturing jobs (with aircraft exports to the U.A.E. sustaining over 30,000 U.S. jobs).
- Nearly $6 billion in economic activity generated as a result of increased inbound tourism to the U.S.
- Over 2,000 airport jobs at U.S. gateways.
This report was released publicly and is available for review on the Business Council website. Delta still has not publicly released its “study”, effectively preventing any fair and independent analysis.
In any event, Delta should see what other U.S. companies already have - that the U.A.E. is a major success story for U.S. business. The U.A.E. is the largest export market for U.S. goods and services in the region, generating a U.S. trade surplus of more than $20 billion in 2013 alone.
There clearly is a lot at stake in the U.S.-U.A.E. commercial relationship. On behalf of our members in both countries, the Business Council will continue to promote and protect free trade and open markets between the U.S. and the U.A.E.
Danny E. Sebright