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U.S. Travel Statement on Qatar Airways Move on American Airlines

June 26, 2017 Business News No Comments Email Email

U.S. Travel Association Executive Vice President for Public Affairs Jonathan Grella issued the following statement on reports that Qatar Airways will seek an ownership stake in American Airlines:

“The Open Skies saga has jumped the shark. Bluff called: Time for airlines to finally file their Open Skies complaint through proper channels [the U.S. Department of Transportation, under the International Air Transportation Fair Competitive Practices Act], get past the griping and get back to growing travel and the U.S. jobs that come with it.

“Consider:

  • Gulf carriers compete head-to-head with the U.S. Big Three airlines on exactly two overseas routes.
  • The Big Three are earning record profits.
  • The U.S. airline industry is hiring at record levels.
  • Gulf carriers are cutting U.S. flights because of contracting demand—undercutting Big Three claims that they can afford to flood the aviation marketplace with capacity regardless of market forces.
  • Now a U.S. legacy carrier is considering a substantial ownership stake from a foreign airline.
  • Major U.S. businesses, including other U.S. airlines, are opposed to the Big Three legacy carriers’ campaign because Open Skies agreements benefit American jobs and economic growth. Employees of those companies deserve a voice in this debate too.

“The Open Skies debate is functionally over, and the only ones who don’t realize it are the Big Three. We urge them again to either file the proper complaint with DOT or drop their multimillion-dollar lobbying effort altogether—but either way, let’s all return to the business of growth as soon as possible.”

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