“All the terms and provisions of the Air Transport Agreement including Fifth Freedom rights remain fully in place, with UAE and US airlines free to continue to add and adjust routes and services,” said Ambassador Al Otaiba.
At the end of the meeting, both parties signed a Record of Discussion, reaffirming that airlines have the same rights as before under the ATA. The UAE also added that their airlines have always been in full compliance with the terms of the agreement.
Fifth Freedom Rights refer to the ability of airlines to fly between foreign countries as part of a multi-stop trip from their own country. FedEx, a US-based company, takes full advantage of these rights and currently has a regional hub in Dubai.
The UAE is proud to have two airlines in the United States, Emirates and Etihad Airways, that serve 12 US gateways with over 100 flights a week. These flights have generated billions of dollars of revenue for both the UAE and US economies. In fact, UAE airlines are the largest non-US purchasers of US commercial aircrafts. In addition to the economic benefit of the flights, aviation has also promoted diplomatic relations between the two countries.
Ambassador Al Otaiba has always been a strong proponent of the UAE and the US working together. His time in Washington is often spent finding new ways for the two countries to collaborate, usually in the fields of science and technology or business.