Fair Open Skies Policy

 Fair Open Skies Policy

It's the largest trade violation in history and directly impacts your future!

As the Gulf carriers continue to violate the Open Skies agreements they have in place with the US and receive money from their respective governments to subsidize their flying routes, American jobs are being lost at a rate of 800 jobs each time an American carrier has to cede a route to a Gulf carrier. America was built upon competition, and we know our carriers can compete with the best of them, but that's if we're competing on a level playing field. As these carriers continue to illegally make entrants into the U.S. market, our smaller cities will lose the route options they have now. We must encourage lawmakers to protect fair competition in U.S. aviation and protect our jobs.

TAKE ACTION!   ★Write a Letter to the Editor    ★Sign the Petition

We know you've all been active making your calls to your Congressional members, and we thank you for that. Our voices matter. We need to stand up to protect our jobs and fight for better working conditions moving forward. We want to help raise the standards for all Flight Attendants. We need you to help us continue our fight. Make your calls and stay up to date with everything we're working towards through AFA's site, afacwa.org.

WATCH VIDEO: Are Gulf carriers distorting the US market?

This is a crucial moment in the history of the U.S. aviation industry and for those of us on the front lines. That is why we stand together – unions and our airlines – to fight this very real threat and protect the future of our industry. Management knows it will take all of our voices - organized not just as employees of the airlines, but as respected professionals in our own right through our union - to make a difference. Through AFA, your voice counts as one of aviation's first responders and our advocacy is more credible to the Administration and all members of Congress.

7 Union Leaders Urge Congress to Support Opening Consultations with Qatar and the UAE to Address Unfair Subsidies


Washington, D.C. (April 16, 2015) – Today the presidents of the Air Line Pilots Association International, the Allied Pilots Association, the Association of Flight Attendants, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, Communications Workers of America, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters and the Transport Workers Union of America, AFL-CIO sent a letter to Congress urging members to call on the U.S. government to open consultations with Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. Full Media Release »

Flight Attendant Union Calls Attention to Analysis of Gulf Carrier Take Over of Market Share through Government Subsidies

afa-media-release-blue-new.pngAs an outspoken and long-term advocate for workers’ rights, the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), a member of the Partnership for Open and Fair Skies, is highlighting a new analysis released by Georgetown University professor Dr. Rob Britton, titled, “Reconsidering the U.S.-UAE Aviation Relationship.”  The white paper details the $42 billion subsidies and other unfair benefits Qatar, Etihad and Emirates airlines received from their respective governments, clearly violating the Open Skies agreement. Full Media Release>>

ANALYSIS: Reconsidering the U.S.-UAE Aviation Relationship

Airline Unions Send Letter Questioning U.S. Travel Association Support of Gulf Carriers

Washington, D.C. (March 26, 2015) – Today the union presidents of the Association of Flight Attendants; the Association of Professional Flight Attendants; the Communications Workers of America and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters sent a joint letter to the U.S. Travel Association Board questioning their continued support for the repugnant policies of three Gulf carriers – Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways and Emirates.
These carriers require their female employees to obtain permission before getting married or pregnant and ban lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from employment.  The union presidents asked whether the U.S. Travel Association’s top-tier board members, such as American Express, Google Travel, Hyatt Hotels and Disney Destinations, believe that these archaic policies are acceptable.  In the letter, they ask why U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow would continue to support these companies:
“We are writing to you, a member of the board of directors of the U.S. Travel Association, to ask two simple questions: Do you support these labor standards? Do you want to associate your name and your company's reputation with such repugnant practices?”  Read Full Letter>>


dont-undermin-our-skies-imgsm.pngDon't undermine open skies: Our view

Oil-rich emirs subsidizing global air traffic hurts competition.

March 22, 2015, USA Today Editorial - Those who don't travel much abroad might not know about Emirates Airline and Etihad Airways, two carriers owned by the government of the United Arab Emirates, or Qatar Airways, the carrier of the Qatari government.

But they are making quite an impression on those who do. The three Persian Gulf airlines are buying jets and adding routes at an awe-inspiring pace. Emirates alone is responsible for nearly half of the world's orders of Airbus A380 super jumbos. Though its home nation, the UAE, has just 9 million people, it is now the largest airline in the world in international traffic and capacity. Its home airport in Dubai is busier than Chicago O'Hare. Read Full Article>>



Joint Statement from Airline Unions on U.S. Travel Association Roundtable

open-fair-skies.pngThe union leaders of the Air Line Pilots Association, International; the Allied Pilots Association; the Airline Division of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters; the Association of Flight Attendants; the Association of Professional Flight Attendants and the Communications Workers of America released the following joint statement ahead of the U.S. Travel Association meeting: 

“As the CEOs of major American companies take part in a U.S. Travel Association roundtable today, we urge them to consider the very serious economic threat that heavily subsidized competition by government-owned airlines from Qatar and the United Arab Emirates poses to the U.S. and we call on Roger Dow, President and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association, to recognize the thousands of U.S. jobs he is putting at risk with a shortsighted view of the Gulf carriers issue.

“We joined the Partnership for Open & Fair Skies because we know that the unfair competition by the Gulf carriers is jeopardizing American jobs and the U.S. economy.  And it’s not just airline employees who will pay the price if the unfair competition is allowed to continue: The U.S. airline industry drives more than $1.4 trillion in U.S. economic activity and more than 11 million U.S. jobs.

“The Gulf carriers claim that their subsidized expansion into the U.S. market is delivering economic benefits to the U.S. but the truth is that every roundtrip international flight that is lost to the Gulf airlines results in a net loss of more than 800 U.S. jobs.  Furthermore, if U.S. carriers are pushed off of international routes, they’ll be forced to cut back on domestic routes to small and mid-sized communities too, cutting off millions of businesses and leisure travelers from the networks that connect them to destinations across the world. The Gulf nations' subsidies are threatening a legacy and a service that our members are proud to provide the American public.

“Open Skies agreements only work if the parties play by the rules.  Two of the more than one hundred countries that have signed Open Skies agreements, however, are not playing by the rules.  That is why we are asking the U.S. government to open consultations with Qatar and UAE and to seek a freeze on new Gulf carrier capacity while those talks take place.  Failure to address the massive, multi-billion dollar subsidies that Qatar and the UAE are providing to their state-owned airlines would irreparably harm U.S. consumers and businesses alike in the long run.

“This week, Etihad CEO James Hogan said that this issue is best left to our governments. We agree, and urge the U.S. government to open consultations swiftly. It is too important to our economy, our jobs and families, and the future of our aviation industry.”



World’s Largest Flight Attendant Union Joins Partnership for Open and Fair Skies

The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) today announced the union has joined the Partnership for Open and Fair Skies and its efforts to ensure U.S.-based airlines are allowed to compete on a level global playing field.

“The aviation industry was born in the United States, and we are proud to be a part of the safest, most efficient aviation system in the world,” said AFA International President Sara Nelson.  “We cannot allow air carriers based in certain Gulf states to collect billions in subsidies from their home governments to undercut U.S. aviation and our country’s vital standards for workers’ rights. We welcome and encourage competition, but these massive subsidies distort the world market and tilt the playing field so drastically against us, we have no choice but to come together to defend our jobs.”

The Partnership for Open and Fair Skies --  composed of the leadership of the three largest U.S.-based international carriers and union representatives from AFA, the Air Line Pilots Association, the Allied Pilots Association, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, and the Communications Workers of America -- is asking the United States  government to meet with representatives of the United Arab Emirates and Qatar to begin addressing concerns over government subsidization of their national airlines.

“Through our work, including the push to deny Norwegian Air International’s attempt to circumvent U.S. law and fly here in planes staffed by third-party outsourced crews to the effort to stop Congress from granting Fast Track Authority for secret deals. AFA has been outspoken on international issues affecting Flight Attendants,” Nelson said. “We are proud to join U.S. aviation workers and other stakeholders in the Partnership for Open and Fair Skies.”

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The Association of Flight Attendants is the world’s largest Flight Attendant union. Focused 100 percent on Flight Attendant issues, AFA has been the leader in advancing the Flight Attendant profession for 67 years. Serving as the voice for Flight Attendants in the workplace, in the aviation industry, in the media and on Capitol Hill, AFA has transformed the Flight Attendant profession by raising wages, benefits and working conditions. Nearly 60,000 Flight Attendants come together to form AFA, part of the 700,000-member strong Communications Workers of America (CWA), AFL-CIO. Visit us at www.afacwa.org.

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