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Boeing: Gulf States Are International Central Point for Air Transportation | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Boeing Co’s logo is seen above the front doors of its largest jetliner factory in Everett, Washington, U.S. January 13, 2017. REUTERS/Alwyn Scott

Cairo – The Gulf area is an important hub for all airliners, said an official at the American multinational corporation for airplane manufacturing Boeing.

Bernard Dunn, President of Boeing Middle East, North America, and Turkey, said that his company is sure to meet the area’s needs of designing, manufacturing, and maintaining in the aviation sector.

Dunn told journalists in Cairo, Egypt, that the Gulf is pivotal in air navigation, however, he hoped that with the new headquarters in the city, the company would be able to expand in the region.

Dunn said that while Egypt focused on local transportation and the internal market, Gulf States have become an international central point for air transportation.

Boeing had been in the Middle East for over 70 years when US President Franklin Roosevelt offered in 1945 Saudi King Abdulaziz Al Saud a Douglas DC3 Dakota plane.

Gulf airlines are accused by US and EU counterparts of receiving governmental support of $40 billion, reducing competition chances. Gulf airlines denied those allegations especially in light of the Open Skies agreement between the European Union and the United States. The agreement allows any airline to fly between any point in EU and US.

World Trade Organization (WTO) said on Friday the United States had failed to remove aid for Boeing, as alleged in a trade complaint filed by the European Union.

WTO found that one US subsidy program, a business tax rate reduction in the state of Washington, where Boeing builds most of its aircraft, had “adverse effects”, involving customers from the United Arab Emirates, Canada, and Iceland. The program reduced about $325 million between 2013-2015.

Dunn said the company made offers to Egypt Air which recently announced a global tender for the supply of new aircraft as part of its fleet development plan.

Airbus could move production of new aircraft models out of Britain if the European planemaker’s “non-negotiable” demands over the free movement of people and trade tariffs are not delivered in upcoming Brexit talks, according to the Sunday Times.

Chief operating officer of Airbus Fabrice Bregier said a deal must allow its staff from all over the world to enter Britain easily and ensure certain regulatory standards are maintained.

Otherwise, he said, Britain would risk losing Airbus production in the future.

“For new productions, it’s very easy to have a new plant somewhere in the world. We would have plenty of offers to do that,” Bregier said, according to the newspaper, adding: “We want to stay in the UK, provided the conditions to work in an integrated organization are met.”

Airbus Chief Executive Tom Enders said on Thursday that a “hard Brexit” where trade tariffs between the UK and the European Union were imposed could potentially impact the competitiveness of the firm’s activities in Britain.

Airbus employs over 10,000 people across two plants in Britain, according to the company’s website.