Qatar Airways still pursuing American Airlines stake after code share hitch

Qatar Airways still pursuing American Airlines stake after code share hitch

Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways has slammed American Airlines' decision to end its codeshare relationships with the former as "anti-competitive and anti-consumer".

The existing codeshare deals will end on March 25, 2018.

The cancellation of the agreements, which allow the airlines to sell tickets on one another's flights as if it were its own, comes amid a tense dispute between USA airlines and their Middle Eastern rivals over allegations of illegal subsidies.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker said: "This signing event marks a very proud moment for us here at Qatar Airways, as we celebrate our unity in the midst of this unprecedented blockade against my country". However, these claims are denied by the airlines.

In a statement Wednesday, the US carrier said the agreements "no longer make sense" given its "extremely strong public stance" against Qatar Airways, Etihad, and Dubai's Emirates.

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Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker bragged about how young his flight attendants were and disparaged American airlines for hiring "grandmothers" during a speech in Dublin, Ireland, on July 5 (video below).

Etihad said it was "disappointed" with American Airline's exit from the codeshare pact and rejected allegations it violated any air-transportation agreements.

"We are committed to the United States market and American consumers, and are taking all possible measures to ensure that the flying public is not harmed by this decision".

The American/Qatari interline agreement is also firmly in place through their membership in the Oneworld airline alliance.

But on Wednesday, Al Baker walked back his statements, calling them "careless".

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"We are committed to working with all airlines, including all United States carriers, to offer passengers more competition, more destinations, and an overall better flying experience", the Etihad statement added.

Mr. Al Baker's comments are misogynistic and demeaning, and they are offensive to the hardworking Americans that his subsidized airline is trying to put out of work. On top of its impending equity stake in America, Qatar Airways owns 20% of IAG - the parent company of British Airways and one of American's closest partners.

When Qatar Airways launched Atlanta-Doha flights a year ago, it sparked a dispute with Delta over a gate at the airport and prompted Delta to withdraw its sponsorship of the Fox Theatre, which hosted a gala for Qatar.

Etihad "rejected the allegations categorically", saying that it was commitment to the USA market and US consumers, and will take all possible measures to ensure that public travelers are not harmed by this decision.

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