U.S. Airlines urges government not to restrict Qatar Airways

Published on : Friday, April 19, 2019


Three U.S. airlines said in a letter to officials on Wednesday that U.S. Airlines urges government not to restrict controversial competitors because it might lead to further unraveling of other aviation agreements around the world.



State-owned Qatar Airways’ acquisition of 49 percent of Air Italy is under scrutiny by Washington. The airlines has been flying to the U.S. destinations since June  which the U.S. lawmakers say is a violation of the commitment by the  Guff airline as it was not suppose to add new routes to the domestic market.



JetBlue Airways Corp and cargo carriers FedEx Corp and Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings Inc stated in a letter to the Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao that if the rights of the Qatar Airways and Air Italy is restricted it will lead to retaliation against the U.S. carriers.



Jet Blue will be starting  its service to London from New York City and Boston in 2021. Under the U.S.-EU Open Skies agreement there might be a possibility of retaliation on the ability to obtain authority to operate in the EU.



The restrictions might have a crippling impact on the U.S. passenger carriers seeking new services to the EU.



Closing global markets will be a punishment that will bring higher prices and fewer choices for the American travellers, consumers and shippers.



However, another group of U.S. airlines holds the opposite view and was concerned about Qatar Airways violating  agreement with the United States.



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.

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