American Air Cancels Code-shares With Qatar, Etihad

July 12, 2017

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American Airlines has cancelled code-share agreements with Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways as the US carrier seeks to increase pressure over alleged state subsidies.

Major US airlines, including American, maintain that Middle East carriers Etihad, Emirates and Qatar Air have an unfair competitive advantage because they receive subsidies from their government owners. The subsidies allow them to offer lower fares than US carriers can on flights between the Middle East and the United States, the airlines say.

The Middle East carriers, who fly to the US under Open Skies agreements, strongly deny the claims.

American said the decision to cancel code-sharing with the two airlines would have no material impact on the airline.

Separately, American said that Qatar Airways had withdrawn an anti-trust submission to US regulator, the Federal Trade Commission, requesting permission to buy a stake in American Airlines. Qatar submitted a new notification to the FTC on July 10, American said.

The original filing sought a stake of up to 10 percent in American, but details were not made available of any changes in the new request.

Qatar's chief executive Akbar al-Baker said last week that the airline would continue with its plans to buy up to a 4.75 percent stake in American, despite opposition from the US carrier.