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LONDON: For the second year running Apple is the world's No.1 brand according to the latest Brand Finance Global 500 list.

The consulting company says it calculates brand value using the 'Royalty Relief' methodology that determines the value a company would be willing to pay to license its brand as if it did not own it. This approach, it says, involves estimating the future revenue attributable to a brand and calculating a royalty rate that would be charged for the use of the brand.

Brand Finance CEO David Haigh commented: "The Apple brand is worth US$128 billion. That value is huge not just in its own terms but also as a proportion of Apple's record-breaking corporate valuation. It goes to show how valuable brands are as business assets and how important it is to manage them well."

The company reckons Emirates Airline is the most valuable brand in the Middle East moving up 38 places to No.196 on the latest index with a new brand value of US$6.6 billon. Not far behind is Delta Air Lines that has moved 75 places to No. 211 with a 34 percent increase in brand value to US$6.3 billion.

Brand Finance Top 10Publication of the new index follows a Delta apology for remarks made by its CEO Richard Anderson who appeared to link the events of 9/11 to Emirates, Qatar Airways and Etihad in a recent television interview where he claimed the Gulf airlines receive subsidies from their governments.

Responding to suggestions that U.S. carriers received subsidies after 9/11 he said: "And it's a great irony to have the United Arab Emirates from the Arabian Peninsula talk about that, given the fact that our industry was really shocked by the terrorism of 9/11, which came from terrorists from the Arabian Peninsula, that caused us to go through a massive restructuring."

Delta issued a statement following the interview saying: "He [Anderson] didn't mean to suggest the Gulf carriers or their governments are linked to the 9/11 terrorists. We apologize if anyone was offended."

Appearing on the same program two days later, Emirates CEO Tim Clark said: "I'm a little bit concerned that Mr. Anderson crossed the line in some of the statements he made with regard to what went on with 9/11 and I know that this has caused great offence in this part of the world, and I'm sure will be dealt with at the government/state level."

Akbar Al Baker, the head of Qatar Airways reportedly added: "Quite frankly, I think Mr. Richard Anderson needs to go and study in a university to find out what the difference is between equity and subsidy. We don't receive any subsidy. What the government has given us is equity into an airline which they own."

Coincidentally, on February 24 the owner of Qatar Airways and Al Baker's boss Amir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al Thani, will be hosted at the White House by president Obama. According to a White House statement, Obama is looking forward to discussing with Sheikh Tamim political, economic, and security issues of mutual concern to the U.S. and Qatar. Airline ownership might be on their agenda.

Meanwhile other logistics-related companies and their respective brand values on the Global 500 list include:

  • UPS No. 47 $19.5 billion - up 1.0 percent.
  • FedEx No. 82 $$13.6 billion - up 2.0 percent
  • DHL No. 121 $9.9 billion - down 11 percent
  • Union Pacific No. 179 $6.9 billion - up 10 percent
  • Emirates No. 196 $6.6 billion - up 21 percent
  • Delta No. 211 $6.3 billion - up 34 percent
  • United No. 280 $4.8 billion - up 27 percent
  • Maersk No. 342 $4.2 billion - up 9.0 percent
  • Lufthansa No. 353 $4.1 billion - down 2.0 percent
  • American Airlines No. 422 $3.6 billion - up 39 percent
  • British Airways No. 424 $3.6 billion - up 41 percent
  • Royal Mail No. 438 $3.5 billion - down 38 percent
  • Southwest No. 451 $$3.4 billion - up 52 percent
  • CSX No. 460 $3.3 billion - up 8.0 percent
  • Deutsche Post No. 472 $3.3 billion - down 6.0 percent
  • CN No. 487 $3.2 billion - up 1.0 percent

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