Emirates has been hoping for years to be able to fly to Berlin. The federal government has now rejected the golf airline.
Emirates has been visiting the ILA International Air Show in Berlin with an Airbus A380 since the beginning of the week. It is no coincidence that the airline left its main embassy in the federal capital for six whole days. The airline has been trying to get the rights to Berlin for years. Under Merkel, it sounded optimistic at times, but the current federal government is now rejecting Emirates again, how airliners.de mentioned. Above all, Emirates is suspicious of Lufthansa’s lobbying.
Emirates Airlines optimism evaporates
Traffic laws are complicated. There is a bilateral traffic agreement between the United Arab Emirates and Germany, which allows Gulf airlines to fly to three German airports. Due to decades of traffic rights, Emirates Airlines has the option to fly to four German cities. These are currently Frankfurt, Dusseldorf, Munich and Hamburg.
An important point is missing for the airline: Berlin. I’ve wanted to travel to this for years, but the federal government is against it. However, Emirates Airline President Tim Clark did not want to give up and had hoped for some important talks in the ILA this week. These have also occurred, but not with the desired results.
We were very optimistic ahead of a number of meetings this week. We are not anymore, which is a pity when you look at the city today.
Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates Airlines
The main argument by the federal government for Emirates’ refusal is that “Emirates is subsidized and there is no fair competition”. For the Gulf airline, these statements are absurd, even “fake news” because the same arguments have already been used for decades.
It’s clear to the airline chief: This is primarily a matter of pressure by Lufthansa, which does not want the premium carrier to come to BER because it fears competitive disadvantages. For example, Emirates Airlines can employ its own employees at a much lower cost than the German airline. But Lufthansa also sees itself in a poor competitive position compared to Gulf carriers when it comes to night flight restrictions, tax breaks and environmental regulations.
In Berlin, one wishes for Emirates Airlines
What the federal government doesn’t want, local politicians in Berlin want more of. During a long conversation last week, the Mayor of Berlin and the Prime Minister of Brandenburg made it clear to the Emirates Airline President that a premium carrier is in demand in the capital.
No wonder, because BER desperately needs interesting long-distance communications. Tim Clark knows this too, noting that “(he knows) there is no political capital in the world – with the possible exception of Brasilia and Canberra – where there are almost no long-distance lines of communication as there are in Berlin”.
Conclusion on Emirates plans in Berlin
The golfer has wanted to go to Berlin for decades. Years ago, it was promised that this could become possible once the BER is complete. But optimism has evaporated after recent talks with the federal government. They do not want to give Emirates any rights to fly to Berlin and are referring primarily to the argument that the airline from the UAE is subsidized by the state. For Emirates, it is clear: this is not the opinion of the federal government, but rather the result of years of lobbying by Lufthansa.