“Aviation was made a strategic industry in Dubai 20 years ago (…) That is the big difference with Europe (where) there is no strategy.” Thierry Antinori, Emirates COO

The United Arab Emirates has bilateral agreements with 26 EU member states. In 23 of them, the UAE has unlimited traffic rights, allowing Emirates to grow their European network without any restrictions. Additionally, with 5th freedom traffic rights, the airline is able offer non-stop service, and below-market fares, from Milan-Malpensa Airport to New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport. Emirates’ aggressive expansion, aided by government subsides totaling at least €6 billion, is costing European airlines passengers and turnover.

European consumers also lose when there is not a level and fair playing field.

For example, since 2007, Air France has had to stop its growth to the Gulf, India, and South-East Asia, leading to less non-stop destinations offered from France, less passengers, less turnover, and fewer travel options for European consumers. Meanwhile, Emirates and its Gulf allies, have increased capacity by 15% a year to Europe, India, and South-East Asia.

Actionable government subsidies received by Emirates totaling €6 billion include:

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    Debt forgiveness in the form of government assumption of fuel hedging contract obligations, totaling €2.2 billion

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    Provision of airport terminal facilities and services for less than adequate remunerations

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    Exemptions from airport taxes at DXB attributable to the government’s exemption of connecting passenger fees

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    Provision of other goods and services for less than adequate reimbursement, including lowered input costs associated with purchases of airline support services from related parties for less than adequate reimbursement

Emirates Airline's Aircraft on order
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Subsidies can buy a ton of aircrafts these days

Learn about the other subsidized carriers:

Etihad Airways


One of the subsidized carriers of the United Arab Emirates, Etihad Airways, has been collecting subsidies since it was founded in mid-2003. How else are they going to pay for all of their sports sponsorships?

Learn More

Qatar Airways


Qatar Airways never needed to depend on profits to keep their airline in business. When funds are running low, they can depend on a check from their government. Who else is going to buy all of those A350s?


Learn More

Take Action


Gulf carriers are using government subsidies to grown their capacity far higher than all other international carriers. This predatory behavior threatens European aviation jobs. Stop the subsidies by signing E4FC’s petition.


Sign Here