MXP, compagnie del Golfo, quinte libertà: visione da oltre Atlantico

Interessante analisi dal sito CAPA

Milan-New York: the fifth freedom route at centre of US carriers’ Gulf ire shows improbable growth

The big three US airlines watched from a distance as Gulf carriers grew in the US, linking America with distant parts of the world US carriers did not serve and had little or no offline coverage from their traditional airline partners. But Emirates’ entry on the Milan-New York route with full fifth freedom pick up rights was too close to home. Despite the market accounting for only 1.6% of total US-Europe travel in 2014, Milan-New York became a rallying cry for the US big three, who forewarned of the slippery slope where further Gulf-operated fifth freedom flights would be detrimental to the market and undermine the US airlines.
That has not eventuated. In fact, quite the opposite has occurred: capacity on Milan-New York has grown by nearly two thirds and Italian visitors to the US are increasing despite the weakening Euro and Italy’s economic malaise. United Airlines however argues the local market has not grown, that there are just more non-stop seats that take passengers who used to connect over another European hub (to no benefit to Italy). Further, United argues, Milan-New York yields are weak. This is not the first time a US carrier has cited weak yields – despite there being no specific evidence. Emirates has meanwhile cited US airlines’ trans-Atlantic yields growing despite decreasing in the trans-Pacific and Latin American markets.

‘Milan is the future’ anti-Gulf side warned. So, the future looks bright?

After Emirates’ entry on the Milan-New York route was granted by the Italian government, which had experienced declining competition (and service) in the market, Emirates entered the market in Oct-2013 with a daily 777-300ER; it up-gauged the flight to A380 in Jun-2015. The service remains the only fifth freedom flight to the US from Gulf carriers. Emirates has spoken of other trans-Atlantic fifth freedom opportunities, but it is constrained by aircraft and perhaps knows additional fifth freedom flights would upset US equilibrium even further.