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In the deteriorating war of words between America and the Gulf countries over bilateral traffic rights, it is easy to forget that European capitals have long imposed ceilings on the number of flights that Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways can operate to their airports.
The restrictions are not solely targeted at the 'big three' Gulf carriers. Even mid-sized operators such as Oman Air – which no-one seriously accuses of capacity dumping – have had their wings clipped on the continent.
Oman's flag-carrier currently serves Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport four-time weekly from its home base of Muscat. Repeated attempts to make the route a daily service have been rebuffed on the French side, prompting chief executive Paul Gregorowitsch to say he feels "discriminated against" by closed-skies policies.
Europe, he argues, has adopted a misguided approach to civil aviation that rewards legacy incumbents while handicapping emerging players from the Gulf...