By Maria Sheahan www.reuters.com
Germany’s transport ministry is giving Emirates the cold shoulder by refusing to hold talks on granting the Dubai-based airline rights to land in Berlin, German newspaper Handelsblatt reported on Friday.
Emirates has been aggressively expanding its route network, provoking fears that Gulf-based superjumbos will draw traffic from European carriers’ hubs.
It has been pushing to get landing rights in Germany’s capital as well as in Stuttgart, in addition to its existing German destinations Frankfurt, Duesseldorf, Munich and Hamburg.
German flagship carrier Lufthansa has reportedly asked the government to deny Emirates landing slots at Berlin’s new airport.
Last year, the United Arab Emirates failed to gain greater access for Emirates and Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways in Canada, leading to tension between the two countries.
Handelsblatt cited industry sources as saying Emirates plans to fly to Munich with an A380 superjumbo from 2012 to increase passenger capacity in and out of Germany.