• Overcapacity claims being used to prop up fares
  • Delta and other US airlines under investigation for possible collusion to limit seats

Dubai-based airline Emirates said Gulf carriers were not responsible for the overcapacity on services between the US and Dubai, a report by London-based Reuters cited on 11 August.

Delta recently attributed the reduction of its daily flights between its Atlanta hub and Dubai starting 1 October to overcapacity in US routes. Prior to this announcement, however, the company had reportedly asserted that a reduction in the frequency of flights between these destinations during the course of the year was imminent due to tough economic conditions triggered by low oil prices and a strong dollar.

According to Reuters, an Emirates spokesperson has said that Delta’s attempt to play up the Gulf carrier threat is plainly a political play, or a “thin excuse to prop up fares at a higher level by limiting capacity.”

It is noteworthy that Delta, along with United and American Airlines, has been the subject of a US Justice Department investigation for possible collusion to limit available seats to maintain high airfare prices.

Emirates’ rejection of the Delta claims adds a new angle to the months-long open skies row between the US and Gulf carriers, which have been accusing one another of unfair business practices undermining their bilateral agreement to expand operations across their territories.

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