NEWARK, N.J. - Today, United Airlines employees, union representatives and members of Congress rallied at Newark Liberty International Airport to support U.S. aviation jobs in the face of Emirates Airline’s new daily service between Newark and Athens, Greece – the latest example of massive Gulf subsidies undermining the domestic airline industry. Subsidy-enabled flights supported by the governments of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar violate international aviation agreements, distort the market and undermine competition, threatening hundreds of thousands of U.S. aviation workers in the process.
Since 2004, the governments of the UAE and Qatar have provided over $50 billion of unfair subsidies to grow their flag carriers – Emirates Airline, Ethiad Airways and Qatar Airways - forcing U.S. carriers to cancel long-haul international service. Emirates Airline’s new daily flight from Newark to Athens is the latest example of how these massive government subsidies are undermining the U.S domestic airline industry. United offers flights from Newark to Athens only during the summer because the market demand does not support year-round service.
“Each time a U.S. carrier is forced to cut one of these long-haul international routes, American jobs are at risk,” said Rick Hoefling, vice president of United’s Newark hub. “That translates into fewer jobs for pilots, ground crew, flight attendants and all of those who make our domestic aviation sector one of the best around the world. We look to the new administration to enforce our international aviation agreements and stand up for all U.S. aviation workers.”
At Newark Liberty today, Hoelfing was joined by uniformed United employees; U.S. Representatives Donald Payne Jr. (NJ-10) and Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5); Ken Diaz, president of United’s Master Executive Council of the Association of Flight Attendants; and United Captain Glenn Johnson, Council 5 chairman of the Air Line Pilots Association to stand up for airline employees in the New Jersey/New York area against the subsidy-fueled expansion by the Gulf carriers.
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