Wednesday, 17 April 2019

US airlines backing Qatar Airways

A number of aviation businesses from the United States of America have come out in support of the Doha based Qatar Airways and urged the US authorities not to restrict the Qatari's operations into the country.

New York's hometown airline and the biggest operator out of Boston, JetBlue, along with Atlas Air cargo and FedEx have sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao in which they urge against any restrictions being placed on Qatar Airways or Air Italy for fear of a retaliation against them and lead to the collapse of open-skies agreements.

"For JetBlue, who just announced its intention to begin service to London from New York City and Boston starting in 2021, the possibility of retaliation could have a devastating impact on the ability to obtain authority to operate in the EU under the U.S.-EU Open Skies agreement," the airlines stated.

The letter goes on, "Undoubtedly, closing access to global markets will be a punishment that brings higher prices and fewer choices for American travelers, consumers, and shippers."

President Trump's administration is known to be looking at possible sanctions against Qatar Airways, which owns 49% of the parent company behind Air Italy over the belief that the Gulf carrier has reneged on certain conditions of a deal reached between the two countries. 

Qatar Airways has said its stake in Air Italy was "fully compliant" with the 2018 U.S.-Qatar Understandings, an additional pact that accompanied the U.S-Qatar Open Skies agreement.

However, the big three US carriers, American Airlines, the Trump supporting and Republican funding Delta Air Lines and United hold a different view, they are concerned Qatar Airways is using Air Italy to get more flights into the US.


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