American Airlines cancels codeshare partnership with Qatar Airways and Etihad

A Boeing 767-300 of Delta Air Lines landing at Frankfurt Airport

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American Airlines has led calls from U.S. carriers for talks on whether government subsidies have enabled the three biggest Persian Gulf operators - Qatar Airways, Etihad and Emirates - to become global players.

The American-Etihad codeshare, which started in 2009, would end on March 25, 2018, an Etihad Airways spokesman confirmed in a statement e-mailed to Khaleej Times.

"Straight from Akbar Al Baker lips, he confirms what AFA has said all along: Qatar Airways thrives on misogyny and discrimination", AFA President Sara Nelson wrote in response to the CEO's statements.

First, American scoffed at the Middle East airline's interest in buying as much as 10 percent of the United States company.

American announced on Wednesday that it was cancelling code-share agreements with Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways as "an extension of our stance against the illegal subsidies that these carriers receive from their governments".

Meanwhile, the CEO of Qatar Airways said his airline plans to buy 10 percent of American Airlines Group.

American's decision to end the agreements which allow airlines to book passengers on each other's flights, ramps up an acrimonious dispute between US carriers and Gulf competitors over competitive advantages.

His comments were labelled "insulting" and "sexist and ageist" by American Airlines and angered United States pilot groups and unions.

The American/Qatari interline agreement is also firmly in place through their membership in the Oneworld airline alliance. Etihad accused American for being anti competitive and anti consumer and was very disappointed with this decision.

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

The US company privately notified Qatar Airways of the decision on June 29 - a week after disclosing that the Middle East airline's overture to potentially become one of American Airline's largest shareholders.

Canoll added that "there will likely be no economic ramifications for his insults" because Qatar Airways is funded by the Qatar government, and doesn't have to compete in the free market like other airlines.

Etihad "rejected the allegations categorically", saying that it was commitment to the USA market and US consumers, and will take all possible measures to ensure that public travelers are not harmed by this decision.

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