* Flight delayed while Emirates searched for spare part
* Delta says it was last spare part of its kind in Seattle
By Alexander Cornwell
DUBAI, Feb 9 Emirates has accused
Delta Air Lines of harming its operations by refusing it
a spare part for its aircraft in the United States, stoking
tensions between U.S. and Gulf carriers feuding over state
The Emirates flight from Seattle was delayed by more than
six hours on Feb. 2, while it searched for the minor hydraulic
part that needed replacing, an Emirates spokeswoman said.
Delta confirmed the incident, but said "this was the last
spare part of its kind in our Seattle inventory and, according
to policy, was kept on hand to ensure coverage for Delta's own
"Having the right spare parts in the right places and in
ample quantity is critical to ensuring a reliable airline
operation for our customers," Delta spokesman Michael Thomas
said in emailed comments.
The hydraulic system part was initially fitted to the
Emirates Boeing 777 by local engineers who had obtained the part
from Delta, the Emirates spokeswoman said.
However, at the request of a "senior manager" at Delta's
headquarters in Atlanta the part was removed and returned just
before passengers boarded resulting in a further delay, the
Delta is one of three U.S. carriers leading calls for the
White House to limit the growth of major Gulf airlines.
"It is sad, in our view, that any airline would deny such
standard, technical assistance to another carrier based on
orders from headquarters that had nothing to do with maintenance
or cost but seem clearly to have been intended to inflict harm
on the airline and its customers," the Emirates spokeswoman
An Emirates employee in Seattle offered a credit card to pay
for the part, which it said was worth $300, but Delta refused,
according to the spokeswoman.
It is common practice for airlines to loan parts to carriers
away from their main base, Emirates said.
Delta said it regularly participated in spare-parts sharing
The part was later sourced from codeshare partner Alaska
Delta, American Airlines Group Inc, United
Continental Holdings Inc are pushing for the new U.S.
administration to denounce U.S. Open Skies agreements with the
three major Middle Eastern carriers, which they accuse of having
been unfairly subsidized by their governments.
The three airline - Emirates, Qatar Airways and Etihad -
have denied they receive state subsidies.
Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker blamed Delta last June when
its inaugural flight to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International
Airport landed without a gate allocation and passengers had to
disembark via mobile stairs and shuttle buses.
Delta denied it had tried to obstruct the flight.
U.S. airline executives visited the White House on Thursday
where President Donald Trump acknowledged U.S. carriers were
under pressure from foreign airlines.
"They come with big investments, in many cases those
investments come from their governments, but they are still big
investments," Trump said.
(Reporting by Alexander Cornwell; editing by Susan Thomas)