American Airlines will end its codeshare agreements with the Qatar Airways and Etihad due to the ongoing dispute between the major U.S. international carriers and the Gulf carriers.
“Given the extremely strong public stance that American has taken on the issue, we have reached the conclusion that the codesharing relationships between American and these carriers no longer make sense for us,” American said in an email to Travel Weekly on Thursday. “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.”
American notified Qatar and Etihad of the decision on June 29, spokesman Joshua Freed said. The move came one week after Qatar announced that it would attempt to acquire up to a 10% share of American stock, prompting objections from American CEO Doug Parker.
For more than two years, American, Delta, United and U.S. airline unions have been in a vocal public battle with Qatar, Etihad and Emirates, which they accuse of violating aviation agreements by accepting a combined $50 billion in state subsidies since 2004. The Gulf carriers deny the allegation.
The Big 3 have stepped up their campaign for U.S. sanctions against the Gulf carriers since the Trump administration took office.
American spokesman Joshua Freed said Thursday that American’s move to end the codeshare agreements won’t impact its interline and frequent flyer program partnerships with Etihad and Qatar.
Freed didn’t immediately know the number of routes on which it codeshares with Qatar and Etihad. The last flights under those codeshares will occur on March 24.
American and Qatar are both members of the Oneworld alliance.
By Robert Silk
Source: Travel Weekly