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That Meeting Between Airlines CEOs & Trump Did Not Go Well

President Donald J. Trump participates in a Christmas Day video teleconference from the Oval Office Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018, with military service members stationed at remote sites worldwide to thank them for their service to our nation. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

At the beginning of July, U.S. President Donald Trump met with airline leaders over the continued “Open Skies” dispute. While the American airline executives allegedly called the meeting through advertisements on Fox News, the actual event may have gone down differently than they envisioned.

On July 18, 2019, leaders from three major airlines came to the White House with the hopes of settling some of their differences. However, what actually happened was far from what all three were hoping for. Speaking to attendees of the meeting, CNBC paints a picture closer to what happens in the board room on the president’s former reality show, “The Apprentice.”

According to insiders, the airlines allegedly called for the audience with President Donald Trump through purchasing ads on Fox News. Ultimately, three executives would attend the meeting: Doug Parker of American Airlines, Oscar Munoz of United Airlines, and Akbar Al-Baker of Qatar Airways.

The American carrier executives were hopeful they could bring their concerns about the alleged subsidies of the “Middle East Three” to the president. But insiders say the hour-long meeting was full of taunting.

Delta Air Lines chief executive Ed Bastian was the alleged butt of the joke. As CNBC reports, the president made many comments about how Bastian was not at the meeting, despite his predecessor making direct accusations against Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways about supposed Open Skies violations. But he wasn’t the only one to meet the president’s ire: Doug Parker was also taunted by Trump over the company’s stock prices and choice to purchase aircraft from French manufacturer Airbus.

In the report, the always-outspoken Al-Baker called the two American carrier executives “liars,” while Trump supposedly jeered that the CEO of Qatar Airways takes money from their government. By the end of the meeting, nothing was accomplished as Trump sent the groups back to the Transportation Department for final resolution.

Although both sides of the Open Skies debate called victory after the meeting, it appears nothing came out of the meeting. Aside from the anonymous sources inside the White House for the meeting, none of the parties officially commented afterward.


[Featured Image: Flickr/ White House]

Comments are Closed.
IanFromHKG August 19, 2019

I'm surprised by the comment above that US airlines wouldn't last a week in other regions with their luxury products. I have flown the new AA international J class several times and it is very good. I haven't flown Delta One but it look excellent too (although I am less grabbed by the Polaris product). IMO where the US airlines let themselves down is with inconsistency of service, and with lounges. I am not quibbling about the lack of lounge access for domestic flights because I recognise that is a market difference (and no different to Australia, incidentally) and also because in the US one of the main FF perks is upgrades rather than lounge access. It is just that so many of the lounges are really quite poor, and even though one may not always need to pay for drinks the free allowance in some is pretty poor (two vouchers for what might be a three-hour layover) and one effectively has to pay by tipping the bar staff. Back to the meeting - it was always going to be ineffective. QR won't admit to taking government money, the US airlines won't stop complaining that they do, and also won't admit that the Chapter 11 process they have all been through amount to government-supported restructuring. I'm not American btw (nor am I Qatari)

RandyN August 7, 2019

Trump's only experience with commercial air travel is running an airline into bankruptcy.

kkua August 3, 2019

The Oval office today is nothing more than the Bored (intentional spelling) Room of the Apprentice. It’s sad.

not2017 August 3, 2019

If I was Bastian, I would have done the same thing. Trump is utterly incompetent!

RSSrsvp August 2, 2019

IMO if you already know the answer don’t ask the question which is why DL passed on the meeting. All this meeting was is another photo opportunity for the reality series called “Trump visits Pennsylvania Ave.”