Qatar Airways boss sorry for 'grandmothers' remark

Posted July 14, 2017

Both Middle East airlines deny they are state subsidized. "We are committed to doing everything we can to continue to support our team members and ensure that there is fair competition between American and the Gulf carriers". Under code-sharing agreement, airlines are able to jointly market global flights.

American Airlines and its USA peers have accused the highly subsidized Middle Eastern carriers Etihad, Emirates and Qatar, known as the ME3, of violating the Open Skies accords in their rapid expansion in America.

"We view the decision by American Airlines as being anti-competitive and anti-consumer", Abu Dhabi-based Etihad said in an e-mailed statement.

The launch of service to the Ukrainian capital comes as part of the airline's expansion in Eastern Europe, with services to Skopje in Macedonia and Prague in Czech Republic to follow this summer, Qatar Airways said.

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All other aspects of our commercial relationship with Qatar and Etihad remain intact, an American spokesman said, including interline access, cargo agreements, frequent flyer program and lounge access.

American Airline's decision is based off of the notion that state subsidies allow Qatar Airways, Etihad and Emirates to offer lower fares and more amenities to long haul global travelers.

Qatar Airways still loves American Airlines.

The war of words continued this week when Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker disparaged service on USA airlines, saying "you are always being served by grandmothers". "This action will reduce choices for consumers and may result in higher fares for travellers to and from the United States", the statement read.

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Baker and Qatar Airways have not responded to the massive condemnation.

The comments came amid an intensifying feud between Qatar Airways and American, which began last month with the disclosure that the Arabian Gulf carrier wanted to buy a stake of as much as 10 per cent in the US company.

The Middle East majors say they have benefited from no more than seed capital many years ago and have become dominant thanks to a strategy of exploiting the Gulf's position at a natural global crossroads to carve off a significant share of the most lucrative long-haul transfer traffic.

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