DUBAI: Middle East-based airlines are wading into the controversy over a man who was dragged off a United Airlines plane this week — an incident which caused uproar on social media.
Now, Dubai-based Emirates Airline, which travel website TripAdvisor named as the world’s best airline in a new award, released a 30-second advert poking fun at the American carrier.
The advert culminates with the message “Fly the friendly skies... this time for real” — a jab at United’s famous slogan.
Fly the friendly skies with a real airline. pic.twitter.com/wE5C5n6Lvn
— Emirates airline (@emirates) April 11, 2017
The advert, which was released Tuesday, comes after years of accusations by United — along with other US airlines – that Emirates, Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways have cheated by receiving $50 billion in government subsidies. US airlines have also been lobbying to curb international access to the American market.
United CEO Oscar Munoz has taken a hard line position on his competition in the Middle East and on March 2, while speaking at the US Chamber of Commerce Aviation Summit in Washington, said "those airlines aren't airlines." Emirates refers to this quote in its latest advert.
Royal Jordanian took to Twitter with its, slightly subtler, response.
The pun-filled tweet stated that “drags on our flights are strictly prohibited” with a no-smoking illustration.
— Royal Jordanian (@RoyalJordanian) April 10, 2017
Most Twitter users picked up on the double entendre.