In an age when corporate executives are unwilling to speak publicly until they’ve triple checked everything with the legal department, it is refreshing to hear someone coming out with guns blazing and speaking his mind. Qatar Airways boss Akbar Al Baker has a habit of doing that, but this month we tip our Cargo Facts hat to Paul Griffiths, the CEO of Dubai Airports.
Responding to recent comments and media coverage “emanating from France and Canada” that suggest the Dubai government unfairly subsidizes local carrier Emirates, Mr. Griffiths unleashed the following broadside:
“The only thing
Dubai is guilty of is providing an environment that actually supports aviation. Most governments around the world treat aviation as a pariah, choking its growth with costly, misdirected regulation, instead of adopting policies that recognize its considerable socio-economic benefits and support its sustainable growth. They then compound the problem with parasitic forms of taxation that usually flow straight out of the sector.”
In a slightly calmer tone, he added: “In Dubai, aviation
is embraced as a strategic imperative. Another key to its success has been equal treatment of airlines. Dubai Airports and Dubai Air Navigation Services offer the same competitive rates and charges to all airlines. That, combined with the UAE’s open skies policy and the attractiveness of Dubai as a business and leisure destination, is why we have 130 airlines operating into one of the
fastest growing airports in the world.”
Whatever position one takes on the question of whether Emirates gets special treatment, it is a pleasure to hear someone so forcefully pointing out that aviation is overburdened with regulation in many jurisdictions.