NEWS Europe Set to Take Aim at Subsidies to Airlines in Persian Gulf

The European Union’s transport chief intends to start fighting alleged unfair subsidies to airlines based in the Persian Gulf within months in a bid to create a “level playing field” for EU competitors. European Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc said she hopes EU governments will give her an “open and flexible” mandate by April to negotiate an aviation agreement with the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council. Curbing market-distorting aid to operators such as Emirates, Etihad Airways PJSC and Qatar Airways Ltd. will be a prime goal of any EU-GCC accord, she said. “We would like to establish a level playing field,” Bulc said in an interview in her office in Brussels on Friday. “We will go into this direction.”