Last updated: 05:01 PM ET, Mon June 22 2015

U.S. Mayors: Gulf Airlines' Unfair Subsidies Puts Our Future At Risk

Airlines & Airports | Rich Thomaselli | June 22, 2015

U.S. Mayors: Gulf Airlines' Unfair Subsidies Puts Our Future At Risk

The United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) this morning called on the Obama administration to open consultations with the governments of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) over the Open Skies agreements.

“We urge the U.S. government to initiate consultations with Qatar and the UAE as provided for within Open Skies agreements to address this issue,” said Burnsville, Minn. Mayor Elizabeth Kautz, who co-sponsored the resolution and is a former President of the USCM. “American cities, both large and small, are at risk if these massive subsidies are not addressed.”

American, Delta and United airlines, through its lobby group the Partnership for Fair & Open Skies, has alleged that Persian Gulf carriers Emirates, Etihad and Qatar have received $42 billion in government subsidies between 2004 and 2014.

The Partnership sent a 55-page white paper to the Obama administration detailing the alleged subsidies – which the Gulf airlines have termed “equity investments” – and asked that talks between the three nations begin.

The resolution was passed unanimously by the Mayors’ International Affairs Standing Committee and by the full conference. Some 49 mayors across the country co-sponsored the resolution, including Chris Bollwage of Elizabeth, N.J.

“For some, it might be difficult to understand how over $40 billion in state subsidies and other unfair advantages that have been directed to the Gulf airlines would impact the city of Elizabeth,” Bollwage said. “ As Mayor, I can tell you that the threat is real and the implications are significant.  The economic growth and development that is taking place in our city is being threatened by unfair subsidies and benefits provided to these Gulf carriers.”

A full list of cosponsoring mayors of Resolution No. 55:

Abilene Mayor Norm Archibald (TX)

Augusta Mayor Hardie Davis (GA)

Brownsville Mayor Tony Martinez (TX)

Brooklyn Center Mayor Tim Wilson (MN)

Burnsville Mayor Elizabeth Kautz (MN)

Charleston Mayor Joseph Riley (SC)

Charlotte Mayor Dan Clodfelter (NC)

Columbia Mayor Stephen Benjamin (SC)

Concord Mayor Scott Padgett (NC)

Concord Mayor Timothy Grayson (CA)

Corpus Christi Mayor Nelda Martinez (TX)

Dubuque Mayor Roy Buol (IA)

Durham Mayor Bill Bell (NC)

Eden Prairie Mayor Nancy Tyra-Lukens (MN)

Elizabeth Mayor J. Christian Bollwage (NJ)

Fairburn Mayor Mario Avery (GA)

Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney (ND)

Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price (TX)

Gloucester Township Mayor Dave Mayer (NJ)

Grand Forks Mayor Ann Brown (ND)

Hallandale Beach Mayor Joy Cooper (FL)

Irving Mayor Beth Van Duyne (TX)

Johns Creek Mayor Michael Bodker (GA)

Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero (TN)

Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero (MI)

Laredo Mayor Pete Saenz (TX)

Las Cruces Mayor Kenneth Miyagishima (NM)

Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola (AR)

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer (KY)

Mesa Mayor John Giles (AZ)

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges (MN)

Monroe Mayor Jamie Mayo (LA)

Mooresville Mayor Miles Atkins (NC)

Newport News Mayor McKinley Price (VA)

North Wilkesboro Mayor Robert Johnson (NC)

Ocala Mayor Kent Guinn (FL)

Orland Park Mayor Daniel McLaughlin (IL)

Palm Bay Mayor William Capote (FL)

Pembroke Pines Mayor Frank Ortis (FL)

Plainfield Mayor Adrian Mapp (NJ)

Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker (UT)

Schaumburg Mayor Al Larson (IL)

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman (FL)

Tamarac Mayor Harry Dressler (FL)

Trenton Mayor Eric Jackson (NJ)

Warren Mayor Doug Franklin (OH)

Westlake Mayor Dennis Clough (OH)

West Hollywood Mayor Lindsey Horvath (CA)

Winston Salem Mayor Allen Joines (NC)


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