Open skies for Emirates
The UAE, Dubai and Emirates Airline have now secured over 60 open or highly liberal aviation agreements, following further recent liberalisation success in Latin America, Africa and Europe.
The 60th and 61st agreements, with Brazil and Panama, the latter concluded last month, are the latest negotiations in 2010 that allow carriers of each partner country to offer largely open services between each market.
It follows eight other open deals successfully concluded during the course of this year.
The US, UK, Spain, Thailand, Singapore, Switzerland, Malaysia, Chile, New Zealand and Lebanon are among the 60 countries that have signed highly liberal or completely open agreements with the UAE and Dubai.
The UAE, through the UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has a policy of open skies and its aviation market is one of the world's most open and competitive. Dubai in particular is one of the true pioneers of aviation liberalisation having adopted an open skies policy as one of the cornerstones of its economy long before Emirates was established in 1985.
"Open skies secured by the UAE and Dubai Civil Aviation Authorities with key economies now represent the majority of Emirates Airline's air services access worldwide, with an average of six new open or liberalised deals now being signed a year," the President of Emirates, Tim Clark said.
"The world, often led by emerging markets, is liberalising faster than many believed possible. This is good news for consumers, traders, exporters and travellers generally," he said.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has indicated liberalising 320 of the world's bilateral aviation agreements would create 24.1 million jobs and generate an additional $US490 billion in world GDP.
The UAE's new open agreements signed in 2010 recognises that unrestricted access to Dubai, one of the world's largest and fastest-growing hubs, allows carriers of the world to grow their services in the prosperous Middle East and Gulf region and also boost exports and trade to their own markets thanks to existing or future Emirates services.
The recent deal with Brazil now means the two countries' aviation policies are even more closely aligned and will deliver further benefits to both economies through increased tourism, exports and trade. In 2010 traffic between the Dubai and Sao Paulo will exceed 170,000 passengers.
Albano Franco, a Member of Brazil’s Parliament and a former President of the Commission of Tourism of the Chamber of Deputies, Governor of the State of Sergipe and President of the Brazilian Confederation of the Industries, said: “The new agreement between Brazil and the UAE is a strong example of what is being achieved - since Emirates commenced services to Sao Paulo, the trade relationship with the UAE has grown to US$6.3 billion and is now the largest partner in the region".
In 2010, Emirates has carried over 9,000 tonnes of high-valued Brazilian exports including auto parts, machinery as well as temperature and time sensitive agricultural exports to the UAE and beyond. Emirates commenced Dubai-Sao Paulo services in 2007.
Economic analysis by InterVISTAS on Brazil’s 2007 traffic found their liberalised aviation policy had boosted Brazil’s 2007 passenger traffic by 47%, boosting GDP by US$10.5 billion and created 242,000 jobs.
"The connectivity, economic, tourism and trade benefits are clear. Open skies improves consumer choice, enhances productivity and creates real, high-quality job opportunities," Mr Clark said.
"There are some pockets of resistance, but these are a shrinking minority compared to those economies choosing the liberalisation option. Aeropolitical protection is an artificial handbrake on economic growth and the world is increasingly wise to this outdated way of thinking. Emirates, Dubai and the UAE will continue to promote real open skies with any willing aviation partner."
“With the full support of Emirates, the UAE's GCAA and Dubai's DCAA have been successfully pursuing and securing open and liberalised deals with many like-minded countries. The UAE is also a signatory to IATA’s Agenda for Freedom framework which is another example of how slowly but surely the international aviation landscape is being changed,” Mr Clark said.