Qatar Airways refutes US airlines claims about benefits and subsidies

Qatar Airways Boeing 777

Qatar Airways has responded to the allegations of subsidy and unfair competition made by US airlines in recent months, five weeks after Emirates published its own response.

Qatar is refuting allegations made by American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines in their joint white paper, Restoring Open Skies: The Need to Address Subsidized Competition from State-Owned Airlines in Qatar and the UAE, published in March. The White paper accuses Qatar, Emirates and Etihad Airways, of profiting from unfair subsidies and benefits. The US airlines have been calling for changes to the open skies agreement the US government has with the Qatari, Dubai and Abu Dhabi authorities.

In the white paper, the US airlines cite studies they claim show that the Middle Eastern airlines are driving down yields on long haul routes to and from the US with their fleet investment. Qatar points out that it: “does not compete with any member of the [three US airlines] in any nonstop market.”

In its response Qatar also challenges the claim by the US airlines that they being harmed by pointing to recent US airline financial results that show what the Qatari carrier says is those airlines’: “best financial years on record”.

In June, Emirates published its own response. Its president, Sir Tim Clark, said: “The [US airlines’] white paper is littered with self-serving rhetoric about fair trade, [a] level playing field, and saving jobs, but their mess of legal distortions and factual errors falls apart at the slightest scrutiny”

The US white paper, released by American, Delta and United, was produced along with the Air Line Pilots Association, the Allied Pilots Association, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants and the Airline Division of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.