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Gulf carriers to remain unaffected by WTO ruling

altThe World Tourism Organisation's (WTO) latest ban on subsidies for Airbus from European governments will not have any impact on any Gulf carriers as the ruling will affect future aircraft developments and not the existing ones.

Max Sukkhasantikul, Consultant — Commercial Aviation, Aerospace and Defence Practice, Frost & Sullivan, said: "I do not think this ruling will have any impact on the Gulf's regional airlines. The orders that they have placed are signed off and would not be affected in any way."

Emirates, the world's biggest customer of A380s and Boeing 777s, has also ordered a large number of A350s which are currently under development. Sukkhasantikul said the A350 orders won't be affected, either. "The WTO verdict on subsidies would, however, affect the new generation aircraft that both Boeing and Airbus are planning to develop."

UAE-based Emirates Airlines and Etihad Airways — the two biggest customers of Boeing and Airbus in the region — declined to comment on the latest WTO ruling.



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