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.

“The free hand-outs the Gulf carriers received to rapidly expand their fleets and international routes is alarming," said AFA International President Sara Nelson. "It is a text book example of what an un-level playing field looks like, and countries that circumvent our bilateral agreements and allow repressive labor standards must be stopped.”
Britton’s analysis found that this blatant violation of the Open Skies policy is resulting in a net loss of more than 800 U.S. jobs every time a U.S. airline loses a route to one of these Gulf carriers.

The Partnership for Open and Fair Skies, composed of the three largest U.S.-based international carriers and aviation unions including, 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, presented the white paper to the United States Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) and is calling for the U.S. government to take these concerns up immediately with representatives of the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

“Whether it’s urging the U.S. DOT to deny Norwegian Air International’s foreign air carrier permit because it doesn’t meet the labor standards of the Open Skies agreement, opposing Fast Track Authority for secretly negotiated trade deals, or calling out certain Gulf states for cruel labor practices and unfairly subsidizing their airlines, these international issues are all connected, and they all effect Flight Attendants,” said Nelson. “It all comes back to protecting U.S. aviation jobs and upholding the highest level of safety. We will continue to work with industry partners to protect Flight Attendants and our passengers.”

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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 50,000 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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