Last updated: 12:24 PM ET, Mon March 02 2015

Emirates To Add Fourth Daily Dubai-New York Flight

Airlines & Airports | Rich Thomaselli | March 02, 2015

Emirates To Add Fourth Daily Dubai-New York Flight

Well, if this isn’t adding jet fuel to the fire.

In the heat of the debate over Open Skies Agreements, Emirates Airlines is having a celebration on Wednesday at John F. Kennedy International Airport in anticipation of the launch of its fourth daily flight between Dubai and New York.

The new daily flight begins Sunday, with the carrier utilizing its Airbus-380.

The invitation-only launch party on Wednesday will be held in a hangar at JFK to take an on-board tour of the luxurious amenities, including the onboard lounge for premium passengers, the Shower Spa, and the entertainment system, among others.

The expansion by Emirates cuts to the heart of U.S. domestic airlines’ concerns about the growth of Middle East-based carriers. The CEOs of the three biggest U.S. carriers – American, Delta and United – met last month with Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker and other government leaders, seeking relief from the Open Skies Agreement.

Domestic airlines believe the Gulf carriers receive government subsidies and discounts on fuel prices.

According to multiple reports, the three major U.S. carriers delivered a 55-page report to the Obama administration outlining their concerns and asking for an appeal or amendments to Open Skies.

Today, the Business Travel Coalition and its sub-committee, OpenSkies.Travel, called on the airlines to make that report public.

“It is unconscionable that the three mega-airlines are jointly conducting meetings behind closed doors with U.S. and EU officials for the purpose of peddling a profound public policy switch that would have enormous negative consequences for everyone else,” BTC chairman Kevin Mitchell said in a statement.

“What’s worse, as grist for their lobby and propaganda mills, the BIG 3 are relying on a secret report they paid for about these three carriers -- a report that they have not even shared with the very airlines they accuse of receiving government subsidies but do selectively share with media when they are angling for advantageous coverage.  … calls on the BIG 3 to release the report publicly for fairness sake and to allow an informed debate among all concerned.”

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