American Airlines has announced that it’s terminating its codeshare partnership with the Gulf carriers in protest over the receipt of subsidies from their respective governments.
American Airlines (AA) has announced that it will be ending its codeshare agreements with both Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways, CNBC reports. The move comes in the midst of escalating tensions between AA and the Gulf carriers, which the former maintains have an unfair advantage in the market thanks to heavy subsidies from their respective governments.
The announcement came on Wednesday, just days after a Qatar’s CEO, Akbar Al Baker, collectively referred to U.S. female cabin crew as “grandmothers” at a gala dinner. Al Baker later apologized for his comments.
The move to end the codeshare also comes just weeks after Qatar announced its intent to purchase a ten percent share in AA. Doug Parker, AA’s CEO, told Bloomberg last month that Qatar’s intentions are, “Puzzling at best and concerning at worst.”
American has hastened to explain that the cessation of these codeshare agreements would not impact its financials. Rather, it said that its decision “is an extension of our stance against the illegal subsidies that these carriers receive from their governments.”
Further clarifying the move in an official statement, as quoted by CNBC, the airline explained, “In light of our ongoing dispute over the Open Skies agreements, American Airlines notified Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways on June 29 of our decision to terminate our codeshare relationships…we have reached the conclusion that the codesharing relationships between American and these carriers no longer make sense for us.”
“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,” the carrier said.