This is only one side of the story because reportedly Delta did not comment.
Emirates says their flight EK228 from Seattle to Dubai on February 2 went mechanical and they were “unable to obtain a $300 spare part from Delta.”
Apparently “the [hydraulic component] was sourced from Delta’s local engineering office and installed on the plane, a senior manager at the U.S. carrier’s Atlanta base later ordered that it be removed.” (Emphasis mine.)
“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,” Emirates said in an e-mail.
Emirates Boeing 777
The incident came a week after Emirates announced Newark – Athens service, precisely the kind of flight Delta doesn’t want the US government to allow.
Hopefully the behavior that Emirates reports from Delta won’t become industry standard practice. I’d hate to see a Delta plane delayed in an another airline’s hub because they couldn’t buy the parts they needed.
Delta already broke industry tradition by demanding higher than standard rates of reimbursement for another airline placing distressed passengers in their empty seats. American and Delta no longer interline because American wouldn’t pay. United went along. Delta’s claim was they’re so reliable they don’t need the help, so other airlines should make it worth their while to participate in what was once expected.
We may need a new category of delay added to airline computer systems, go to along with weather, mechanical, and crew availability: spite.