Air France CEO Pierre-Henri Gourgeon joined British Airways and Lufthansa in calling on the European Union to curb the expansion of Gulf carriers, stating the region’s status as an air-travel hub is under threat (Bloomberg, 11-Oct-2010). The carriers' are also joining American Airlines in pushing for a change to the export-guarantee regime and the trans-Atlantic trade agreement which is behind the decision, with the carriers arguing that it enables cheaper government-backed aircraft financing available to rivals from countries including Gulf states. The carriers added that they are at a disadvantage to its Middle East competitors which receive low airport charges and fuel taxes at their respective home airports.
Air France-KLM: “Europe is at the crossroads of international air travel, and this is a role we need to value and defend. What we’re telling the authorities is that we need a strategy that gives us a chance to resist,” Pierre-Henri Gourgeon, CEO. Source: Bloomberg, 11-Oct-2010.