Emirates boss says US rivals “need to grow up”

Things are heating up in the airline industry’s biggest feud, with the head of Emirates telling a group of US airlines they need to “grow-up”.


During an interview with Business Insider, Emirates president, Sir Tim Clark said a truce between the ME3 (Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways) and the US3 (American, Delta and United Airlines) would benefit everyone involved.

Clark also decried the tactics employed by the US3,

“They need to grow up and we need to have a mature way of going about our business,” he said.

The drama stems from the US3 accusing the ME3 of receiving more than $50 billion in government subsidies in the past ten years, which they claim would be in violation of the Open Skies agreement, creating unfair competition for US carriers.

A claim which has been firmly denied by all three Gulf carriers.

Clarke told Business Insider the US3 haven’t been able to show any direct harm done to them by the presence of Emirates and the rest of the ME3.

“The beneficiaries of Open Skies driven by the likes of us has been the US economy and that’s kindly marginalized in the US3’s narrative,” Clarke said.

“They haven’t got a leg to stand on so they go after this theatre, this noise.

“They put big banners up at the Atlanta Airport.”

He also compared the antics of the US3 to that of a “three-year-old at the playground”.

“It seems to be lost on them that this can work and make everybody happy,” he said.

“For goodness sake, all of the business we bring across (the ocean). Don’t you think they’d want to go other places than Chicago?”

The Emirates boss said cooperation could be as beneficial for everyone, pointing out the connecting business Emirates is already sending to JetBlue and Alaska Airlines.

Instead, the US carriers are refusing to allow Emirates passengers to connect to their flights.

“Emirates can’t sell tickets on any of them. I mean talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face,” he said.