Last updated: 11:00 AM ET, Thu May 28 2015

Etihad: We Contribute To The U.S. Economy

Airlines & Airports | Rich Thomaselli | May 28, 2015

Etihad: We Contribute To The U.S. Economy

Numbers -- big, big numbers – have been at the forefront of the debate between the big three U.S. airlines and the three major Persian Gulf carriers in their ongoing dispute over the Open Skies Agreements.

U.S. airlines American, Delta and United claim that Emirates, Etihad and Qatar have received $42 billion in government subsidies over a 10-year period, fueling their growth and tilting the international travel market.

They also claim that every flight to the U.S. by a carrier from the Middle East costs 800 American jobs.

Now Etihad is firing back.

The national airline of the United Arab Emirates will contribute $2.9 billion to the U.S. economy and support 23,400 American jobs this year, according to new research by the global consultancy Oxford Economics.

 The study, commissioned by Etihad Airways, projects that by 2020, the airline’s operating expenditure and capital investments will almost double to support 46,200 American jobs and deliver $6.2 billion a year.

These are among the key conclusions of the Oxford Economics Report, released by Vijay Poonoosamy, Vice President International and Public Affairs of Etihad Airways, to quantify the economic contribution which the airline makes to the US.

The study, which is now published on, assessed the airline’s capital expenditure with U.S. suppliers and its operating expenditure in the country to calculate a value for direct, indirect, induced and catalytic contributions.

“Open Skies is good for competition and good for the consumer, but most of all today’s report shows it is also good for the American economy,” Poonoosamy said. “Since 2005, the year before we started flying to America, our expenditure and activities in the U.S. market have supported thousands of jobs and helped to fuel domestic economic growth.”

Poonoosamy said that by 2020, Oxford Economics calculates Etihad will will have committed $41 billion to the GDP through a combination of direct expenditure on day-to-day operations in the U.S. and long-term relationships with American partners including Boeing, GE Aircraft Engines and Sabre Airline Solutions.

“Our most important contribution to the US is choice,” Poonoosamy said. “We deliver increased options for consumers, and through our exceptional inflight service between the US, Abu Dhabi and beyond we connect American travelers to destinations which were poorly connected, or perhaps not connected at all. We are all growing as a result of Open Skies. That is good for the airlines, good for the U.S. economy and good for customers.”


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