Emirates hits back at Delta's position on fifth freedoms
Emirates Airline has hit back at US carrier Delta which has criticised and objected to Emirates flights to the US from Italy under 'Fifth Freedom' rights.
Fifth Freedom is the right of an airline to fly between two foreign countries on a flight originating or ending in its own country.
Emirates last year began operating flights between Milan Malpensa and New
York JFK airports. Since then there have been legal challenges by Alitalia and Delta regarding the operation and the Italian Government’s approval of
Reporting on the challenges to the routing in its public affairs magazine, Open Sky, Emirates said that after one recent ruling in April, Delta claimed the Emirates 5th Freedom MXP-JFK route provided no additional benefit for travellers. “In truth, Emirates’ service is receiving strong demand from passengers in all classes, with the route receiving between 6,000 to 8,000 new bookings every month, and average seat factors for this summer are projected to reach 90%.’
In an article Emirates said: “5th Freedom services have existed for decades and provides consumers, airports, and communities with an important competitive alternative. Where 5th Freedom services are authorised – as they are, without restriction, as part of every US Open Skies agreement – airlines are and should be free to decide whether they make commercial sense and address un-met consumer demand.”
And in a dig at its American competitor, Emirates said: “Delta, despite its seemingly principled position against 5th Freedom flights, has more than a few 5th Freedom flights of its own, which it conveniently forgets to mention in its frequent and ongoing commentary about Emirates.
“Singapore Airlines already operates fifth-freedom U.S. routes between Houston and Moscow; New York and Frankfurt; Los Angeles and Tokyo; San
Francisco and Seoul; and San Francisco and Hong Kong, and nobody seems to mind.”