Emirates says gets 20 pct financing from export aid

DUBAI, Oct 12 (BestGrowthStock) – The head of Dubai’s Emirates
[EMIRA.UL], the Arab world’s largest airline, said on Tuesday it
finances only 20 percent of aircraft through export credits,
dismissing subsidy allegations by rival airlines as “nonsense”.

U.S. and European airlines last week launched a campaign to
change rules which allow foreign airlines to receive credits
when buying Airbus (EAD.PA: ) and Boeing (BA.N: ) planes, a facility
denied to carriers in countries where the planes are produced.

“To suggest that we get 100 percent support and the soft
loans that come with that – according to them – is giving us a
competitive advantage is nonsense but then most of those
accusations are,” said Clark.

“Only 20 percent of our aircraft have been financed using
export credit agency supported loans,” he added.

Bloomberg News quoted Air France-KLM (AIRF.PA: ) Chief
Executive Pierre-Henri Gourgeon on Monday as saying European
governments should curb the expansion of Gulf Arab carriers,
including Emirates, to protect European airlines from what he
described as unfair competitive advantage.

Airlines in the United States and Europe are challenging the
rules for government export measures which have smoothed the
sales of jetliners to high-growth markets in Asia and the Gulf.

Clark said it was natural for Emirates to take advantage of
export credit if it is provided and that it was up to the
governments if they chose to support their industries.

“People who make statements need to check the facts, the
veracity of what they are saying, to ensure they don’t make
themselves look silly,” said Clark.

Emirates has also repeatedly denied clams by rival European
airlines that its fuel bills are subsidized.

“I have said ‘you prove a subsidy and I will resign the next
day’. It is completely wrong,” Clark said.

An association of European airlines is due to meet in London
on Friday to discuss the export credits issue.

Clark said, “If they spend as much time running their
business as they do trying to run us down they might make even
more money.”

European airlines say the financing system means European
taxpayers are funding the growth of airlines such as Emirates
through export aid denied to their own carriers
* Emirates eyes 120 Airbus A380s, works with Boeing on 777
[ID:nWEA1949]
* Airlines cry foul over export credit rules [ID:nN07162741]

(Reporting by Tamara Walid; Editing by Tim Hepher)

Emirates says gets 20 pct financing from export aid