KANSAS CITY, MO – MetroAir staff have indicated the airlines’ daily flight to Dubai with continuing service to Doha will be reduced to just three times weekly. The downgrade in capacity follows increased competition from Middle Eastern airlines across all markets in the United States.
“We’re not able to match the operating costs of state funded airlines, ” explained Chief Operating Officer William Hogarth, “However, we are proud to be the only US based airline with service remaining to the Middle East and are striving to do everything we can to continue serving the region.”
Hogarth’s statement refers to the three Middle Eastern airlines, Emirates, Qatar Airways, and Etihad Airways, which have come to dominate markets worldwide in the past decade. With large government subsidies, the airlines off collectively called the ME3, have significantly lower operating costs than other airlines. While the ME3 are able to fill their planes with passengers connecting between the East and West hemispheres, other airlines rely on passengers with a final destination in the Middle East.
Due to the differences in operating structures, MetroAir cannot effectively compete fairly with airlines receiving large amounts of state funding.
The Boeing 777-300ER aircraft on this route will be redeployed on alternate transatlantic routes.
The Partnership for Open and Fair Skies has asked the US government to open consultations with Qatar and the UAE to address the issue of $42 billion in government subsidies provided to the ME3. These government subsidies violate the Open Skies agreements between the US and these countries.