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Foreign carriers entry in Chicago worries US-based airlines

by amit.uniyal 23. August 2014 09:14

The influx of foreign carriers to the lucrative Chicago O’Hare International Airport has been widely welcomed by the city authorities, while at the same time it has made U.S.-based airlines quite worrisome.

Chicago air travel market

A recent study said that the Chicago air travel market has seen the entry of world’s highest-rated international airlines in a big way in recent years. The arrival of international carriers such as Emirates Airline, Cathay Pacific Airways and Qatar Airways have undoubtedly provided a boost to the city’s economy, but this has also raised a controversy regarding whether the foreign carriers have gained an unfair advantage over their U.S. competitors.

Emirates Airline in August this year started providing flights services to its main hub in Dubai from Chicago O’Hare International Airport. Cathay Pacific Airways also announced it will be increasing its frequencies on Chicago-Hong Kong route. Qatar Airways, which started operating thrice weekly flights between Doha and Chicago last year, also ramped up its service to daily flights.

The three airlines are renowned for offering luxury service to their customers and decked-out aircraft. Air-travel rating group Skytrax also rated these airlines as the best in the world. Cathay Pacific Airways has been named as the Best Airline in the World for 2014. Emirates Airline and Qatar Airways also received the same honors for 2013 and 2012 respectively.

The entry of these foreign luxury airlines have neither enthused or been taken kindly by U.S. carriers. In recent years many U.S. carriers have faced tumultuous times and been through bankruptcy protection. In the recent Skytrax ratings not a single U.S. airline has even made to the top 20.

U.S. airlines contend that they are operating at a disadvantage since some foreign airlines have been receiving subsidies by the government and are not required to deal with U.S. regulations as well thus impacting the growth of domestic airlines.

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Tags: chicago air travel

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