As the largest airline globally measured by international passengers carried, Emirates plays an active role in aviation policy debates that impact the industry.
Our position on competition, liberalisation and government financial intervention in aviation is strongly focused on consumers and, at the heart of our business model, is a commitment to true international competition and open skies. The notion of protecting of a national carrier simply because it carries the flag of one particular country belongs to the past. Where governments protect flag carriers, competition is weak, exporters suffer, tourism stagnates and passengers are forced to pay some of the highest fares in the world. Robust competition allows more people to fly, and liberalised economies with open market access tend to be the strongest. Dubai is a long-term supporter of open markets with its first open skies type agreement signed in 1937. This policy has played an integral role in ensuring over 100 international airlines have flights to Dubai and that more than 78 million passengers pass through the airport annually.
Similarly, Emirates does not belong to any of the traditional alliances. We choose to chart our own future. In April 2013 we partnered with Qantas in a codeshare partnership, arranged in such a way to maximise benefits for our customers, create cost and network efficiencies for both airlines, and reinforce Dubai's standing as a global hub. We also have codeshare arrangements with other carriers, for example JetBlue, Alaska Airlines in the US, Malaysia Airlines, Korean Air, TAP Portugal and Copa Airlines.
The environmental impact of aviation is an increasingly important topic of debate within international aviation and environmental policy, and an area that we devote a great deal of time to. We are committed to becoming more sustainable and improving our environmental performance. We also believe governments must find a better balance between incentivising responsible corporate behaviour and motivating change, and avoiding more punitive political and policy measures that weaken our industry’s ability to invest in sustainable growth and that unfairly impact our customers.