Airbus urges airlines to pressure Boeing over subsidy row

The United States and Europe have been locked in a 15-year spat over mutual claims of illegal aid to plane giants. (File/AFP)
Updated 02 June 2019

Airbus urges airlines to pressure Boeing over subsidy row

SEOUL: Airbus has written to airline leaders to appeal for their backing in a trade dispute with rival Boeing, warning of higher aircraft prices and passenger fares if the United States and European Union descend into a tariff war.
The appeal was issued in a letter to several airline bosses meeting in Seoul where the International Air Transport Association has warned of the impact of broader global trade tensions, a person familiar with the issuance of the letter told Reuters.
The United States and Europe have been locked in a 15-year spat over mutual claims of illegal aid to plane giants.
US President Donald Trump threatened last month to impose tariffs on $11 billion of European goods including planes and their parts, prompting the European Union to propose a list of $20 billion worth of US imports it could hit in retaliation.
“If the tariffs are applied, the effects would include greatly increased costs to US and European airlines, aerospace suppliers and manufacturers,” Airbus sales chief Christian Scherer said in the text of the letter seen by Reuters.
It asked airlines to “urge Boeing to enter into the negotiations proposed by the EU and Airbus.”
Airbus and Boeing had no immediate comment.
It is the first time either company has sought to directly involve the airline industry in the dispute, which is the largest ever handled by the World Trade Organization.
US carrier Delta Air Lines has said it opposes the US tariff threats, saying they harm US interests.
Delegates at the IATA talks said airlines would weigh carefully whether to step directly into the aircraft dispute which has laid bare intense competition for plane orders and which has cost the warring parties tens of millions of dollars.
But IATA, which groups 290 airlines representing 82 percent of global traffic, is expected to express growing concerns about a worsening pattern of global trade tensions which has already depressed cargo business and threatens some passenger demand.

Jubilant cheers as Dubai begins one-year countdown to Expo 2020

Updated 20 October 2019

Jubilant cheers as Dubai begins one-year countdown to Expo 2020

  • Dubai prepares for eye-catching countdown on Burj Khalifa
  • Live performances from singer Mariah Carey and acclaimed Emirati singer and Expo 2020 ambassador Hussain Al-Jassmi

DUBAI: Crowds gathered at different locations in the UAE on Sunday night to mark its one-year countdown to Expo 2020 in October next year, with host emirates Dubai staging a spectacular concert, topped by a light projection on the iconic Burj Khalifa.

American superstar Mariah Carey was the star of the night, which also saw performances from regional artists including Khalifa, Shamma Hamdan, Abri and Funk Radius, Showcase and Jaysus Zain. The audience also grooved to a few Arabic tunes from Emirati singer Hussain Al-Jassmi.

A make-shift stage was set up at the Burj Park in Dubai’s downtown area to host the performances, while people also enjoyed a good view of the tallest building in the world. The countdown was facilitated by Emirati social media sensation Khalid Al-Ameri and Bollywood actress Shraddah Kapoor. 

A 3-minute firework display lit up the skies of Dubai as the crowd eagerly waited for Carey to appear on stage.

The 49-year-old singer sang her all-time favorite songs, including “Emotion,” “We Belong Together,” and a revival of the Motown classic “I’ll Be There,” to an enthusiastic audience who didn’t mind the heat and humidity at the outdoor venue.

The other six emirates also marked the occasion with free-for-all activities in venues such as the Louvre Abu Dhabi, Al Majaz Waterfront in Sharjah, Ajman Museum, Umm Al Quwain Corniche, Al Qawasim Corniche in Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah Fort.

The events, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Expo 2020 Director-General Reem Al-Hashimy said, will “offer a window into the once-in-a-lifetime celebration that awaits from October 20, 2020.”

“The next 12 months will see us put the finishing touches to ensure an exceptional World Expo,” she added, in a report by state-run WAM.

The Louvre Abu Dhabi featured YouTube sensation Sandra Sahi, as well as singers Stephon Lemar, Layla Kardan, the Emirati Trio.

Indian band ROOH, singer and pianist Clarita de Quiroz, Egyptian oud player Rami Zaki and other regional artists were celebrating the count down at Sharjah’s Al Marjaz waterfront.

While the Ajman Museum hosted Arabic fusion band, pop-rock musician Hydyy, Emirati soul singer Chakram, poet Storm Fernandes, artist Humaira Hussain and MC Mohammed Enaba.

The 6-month Expo 2020, to be held at a vast new site in the south of Dubai, will officially open on Oct. 20 next year, with organizers expecting an estimate of 25 million visitors.