Several major US airlines, airports, and companies associated with travel & tourism are urging Congress to support Open Skies agreements, and reject demands from American Airlines, Delta, and United, to restrict the major Gulf carriers over alleged subsidies.
The Us Big 3, with support from pilots, continue to lobby the US government to address what they say are ‘improper subsidies’ to Emirates, Etihad, and Qatar from their governments. Unsuccessful in convincing the Obama administration to take up the issue with the UAE and Qatar formally, the three big US airlines have renewed their efforts, hoping to push the Trump administration to take action. They also hope to take advantage of the isolation of Qatar on one side and the home of the other two, the UAE on the other, during the current political row, and the blockade between them.
However, other airlines, Alaska, JetBlue, and Hawaiian, along with major cargo operators FedEx and Atlas Air have spoken against the major US airlines’ campaign. They fear damage to tourism, their own codeshare and passenger agreements with the ME3, and potential loss of access for cargo routes through key areas like Doha and Dubai.
The airlines have teamed up with Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, Airports Council International-North America and Memphis International Airport—to express their concerns about the US major airlines’ campaign, and are pressing Congress to prevent the Big 3 imposing anti-competitive measures against the ME3.