© Khunaspix Dreamstime.

Etihad Airways has rejected claims by US lobby group the Partnership for Open & Fair Skies that its accounting practices effectively amount to state support.

POFS claimed last week that the major Gulf carriers, Etihad, Emirates and Qatar Airways, were violating Open Skies policies by “shielding their finances from scrutity”. The organisation cited examples including land deals between carriers and their respective governments, state-sponsored development of new facilities and lack of clarity as regards fuel hedging losses. Specifically, POFS accused Etihad of actions “a typical commerical enterprise would be unable to take” when it “sold its own cargo company to itself” (Loadstar, 28 August).

An Etihad Airways spokesperson told The Loadstar: “We have never made any secret of the fact that we have received equity capital and loans from our shareholder. That is completely normal for any business which has significant long-term capital commitments, for example for aircraft deposits. Etihad Airways’ accounts are audited by KPMG and are fully compliant with international financial reporting standards. These issues have all been addressed in our submission to the US government under the Open Skies docket.”