US Airlines Push Back Against Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways boss says ‘bullying’ Gulf states to hit profits

American said its decision was based on the ongoing dispute regarding rapid US expansion by the subsidized Middle East three carriers - Etihad, Emirates and Qatar, collectively known as the ME3 - in violation of the Open Skies agreements that enable the expansion.

American's decision to end the agreements which allow airlines to book passengers on each other's flights, ramps up an acrimonious dispute between US carriers and Gulf competitors over competitive advantages. However, an Etihad spokesman called the American's decision to end the codeshare which has been in place since 2009 "anticompetitive and anti-consumer" in an email to Business Insider. American Airlines also said it would no longer code share with Etihad Airways of Abu Dhabi. They claim the airlines rapid expansion in the U.S.is hurting American jobs. This allows American's passengers to enjoy the same frequent fliers miles and perks such as priority boarding as if they were on one of the airline's own flights.

His comments were labelled "insulting" and "sexist and ageist" by American Airlines and angered USA pilot groups and unions.

Then al-Baker found himself in the hot seat this week after disparaging United States flight attendants as "grandmothers" and boasting that his own cabin crew personnel had an average age of 26.

"We are disappointed", Akbar al-Baker, chief executive of Qatar Airways, said on Thursday. "This action will reduce choices for consumers and may result in higher fares for travelers to and from the United States".

Qatar Airways sent a revised antitrust filing to US regulators on Wednesday seeking clearance to buy up to a 10 percent stake in the USA carrier, according to the filing.

American and other USA carriers have charged that state subsidies allow Qatar Airways, Etihad and Emirates [EMIRA.UL] to offer lower fares and more amenities to long-haul, worldwide travelers.

Qatar Airways declined to comment on the matter.

The carrier plans to launch services to 25 new destination throughout 2017-2018, including to Canberra in Australia; Chiang Mai in Thailand; Las Vegas and San Francisco in the US; Rio de Janeiro in Brazil; and Santiago in Chile.

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