The Gulf’s Airlines Are Winning on Product but Losing at Politics

Aug 1, 2017 | 09:15 GMT

Emirates Airline, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways have built a winning product.

Gulf carriers are at a political disadvantage to their American competitors because of the issues dividing them.

(KARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images)

Gulf airliners Emirates Airline, Etihad Airways, and Qatar Airways (known collectively as the ME3) certainly have a winning product. They have won over customers with newer aircraft, better service and highly competitive fares on flights that can span the globe with a single layover. Yet much as the ME3 have proved economically successful, they are at a political disadvantage in facing down their American competitors for one simple reason: National appeals and state boundaries divide them rather than unite them. ...

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