“With the largest aircraft available on the market, Emirates is collecting the passengers in Frankfurt, Munich, Hamburg, Dusseldorf, Amsterdam, and Paris and flying them to Dubai. Etihad is complementing this approach by buying stakes in ailing European airlines and using them as feeders to its own hub. Air Berlin is a perfect example: As soon as Etihad took a stake in Air Berlin, the German airline cancelled all direct flights to Asia and East Africa. Now there is only one destination in that direction: Abu Dhabi. The emirate wants to replace Frankfurt and Munich as hubs.”Lufthansa Group Policy Brief 5/2014

Subsidized Expansion

In Germany, Gulf carriers have grown much faster than the market demands.

From 2010-2013, Gulf carriers expanded by 12.7% in Germany, while general market growth averaged 4.3%.

By the summer of 2015, the three Gulf carriers (including Air Berlin) were operating 161 flights to their hubs in the Middle East.

Such information, as revealed by the European Commission show that the traffic share held by the Gulf carriers has increased by 83%, in spite of the bilateral agreements that govern the relationship between Germany and the United Arab Emirates and Qatar stipulating a fair and equal opportunity to compete.

An Unequal Opportunity to Compete

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    Qatar

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    Emirates

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    Etihad

    Etihad has acquired equity in ailing EU carriers, namely Air Berlin, Alitalia, Air Serbia and Darwin Airline, using them to expand its network and market reach. This is against normal practices as required by an open market economy according to which a financially weak airline would have to be substantially restructured and downsized.

    In the case of Etihad, the contrary has happened: It has injected vast amounts of money in these ailing European airlines in order to expand the feeder system to their Abu Dhabi-based network, including obliging Air Berlin to cancel one of its profitable flights (Berlin-Bangkok) in order to channel these passengers through its own hub in Abu Dhabi.

    More than 25% of the 63 weekly flights between Europe and the Gulf airports are now being operated by airlines with substantial ownership by Etihad (Air Berlin, Fly Niki, Alitalia, Air Serbia.)”


Emirates

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Etihad Airways

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Qatar Airways

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