The United Arab Emirates, home to both Emirates and Etihad are about to settle a deal with the US that will end the US airlines arguments they are subsidised and offer unfair competition.
The deal is basically along the lines of that the US struck with Qatar three months ago, largely seen as meaningless and a victory for the Qataris.
The deal will see both airlines open their books to public scrutiny and they’ll agree not to start any new fifth freedom flights in the next three years. (Flights starting in the UAE stopping in Europe, then continue to the US).
This will calm fears of the so hard done by US airlines, afraid that a little bit of competition might harm their already vast profits.
In essence the agreement gives something for the Trump Administration to say it’s done something, the US Airlines get to say they won, but everyone knows it makes no real difference.
Etihad won’t care because it’s been cutting unproductive flights to the US and Europe, Emirates doesn’t have plans for more fifth freedom flights anyway.
It all goes to prove the entire saga was a storm in a tea cup largely created to justify the existence of lobbying firms, and groups like Airlines for America.