According to several sources, the Emiratis are now in the balance of additional traffic rights (permissions flights) in France, mainly in Roissy, for their airlines Emirates (Dubai) and Etihad especially, the carrier of Abu Dhabi. That nearly a week of a second round of bilateral negotiations on air services, six months after the failed first, when Paris has rejected the demands colossal Emirates (doubling the number of flights in France) . The representatives of Abu Dhabi had gone mad.
Until recently, France was reportedly resisting demands by the UAE to take back about 60 Mirage 2000-9s in exchange for a Rafale sale. But now French newspaper La Tribune has reported the UAE has insisted on a second condition.
In return for buying the Rafale, France must give the UAE's two airlines -- Abu Dhabi's Etihad and Dubai's Emirates -- more landing slots at major French airports, especially Charles de Gaulle near Paris.
The French are absolutely desperate to sell the Rafale to an overseas customer. India, Brazil, and the UAE represent their best shots. On another thread I posted links that cited the F-18 was purportedly being considered by the UAE in lieu of the much more costly French aircraft, but now the UAE's end game becomes apparent. Frankly, IMVHO, if they were to put airbus A380 orders on the table, the French would no doubt cave in and grant them all the rights they wanted, in addition to acceding to these two demands.
The UAE has shown they are willing to do what it takes to foster the expansion of Emirates (and Etihad); witness the imbroglio with Canada over landing rights for EK. There have already been skirmishes in Europe on the same subject.. 100 A380s on order and a significant share of the A350 program provide plenty of leverage.
And the French really, really want to sell the Rafale....