Published on Thursday, March 9, 2017
Congress urges Trump to ground new Emirates Newark route
Lawmakers are urging the US administration to ground a new Emirates airline route to Newark just days ahead of its launch.
A bipartisan group of Congress members from New York and New Jersey have again called out the state subsidies to Gulf carriers as reason to ground the flight.
It undermines the spirit of the Open Skies agreement they say.
They are looking for the suspension of the route while a 'meaningful resolution' can be negotiated.
The route in question is the most contentious yet as it originates from a 'fifth freedom' third country.
The Athens, Greece to Newark route is scheduled to start on Sunday March 12.
In a letter to President Trump lawmakers wrote: "Foreign governments that violate their agreements with the United States need to be held accountable. Like you, we believe that our trade agreements must be enforced so that foreign governments understand that they can't break the rules."
The airline industry, lawmakers and unions have long called for action to curb US growth of Gulf carriers Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways, which they say receive 'unfair' state subsidies amounting to more than $50 billion.
United Airlines employees and unions have organized a 'welcome' for the new flight at Newark Liberty International Airport on Sunday with a planned protest.
Despite the prospect of protests the flight will go ahead as planned, Emirates said.
The carrier already operates four daily flights from Dubai to New York's JFK airport.