The American Airlines announced on Wednesday that it is ending its codeshare relationships with Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways as part of its push against government subsidies of Middle Eastern carriers.
The airline notified Doha-based Qatar Airways and Abu Dhabi-based Etihad of its decision on June 29 to end the “codeshare” partnership – the sharing of a flight by two carriers. Maintaining the program “no longer have (makes) sensed for us, an American Airlines spokesman said.
“This decision has no material financial impact on American and is an extension of our stance against the illegal subsidies that these carriers receive from their governments.”
Foreign policy experts viewed the move as an attempt by Qatar to garner foreign support amid a diplomatic clash between Qatar and four neighboring states, including Saudi Arabia.
American — along with fellow US carriers Delta Air Lines and United Airlines — has called for the White House to crack down on an alleged $50 billion in state subsidies to Middle East carriers. The US companies say the home-country financial backing allows the airlines to illegally compete in the US market.
American and two other U.S. carriers argue that Gulf states are unfairly subsidizing state-owned carriers, driving down prices and crowding out the competition on key routes, accusations those carriers deny.
The decision comes soon after Qatar Airways said it wanted to buy up to a 10 percent stake in American.
Etihad Airways is a flag carrier and the second-largest airline of the United Arab Emirates, based in Abu Dhabi. Qatar Airways is the state-owned flag carrier of Qatar.
Culled from Forbes