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American Airlines to end codeshare with Etihad, Qatar Airways

14 July 2017

American Airlines and its US peers have accused the highly subsidized Middle Eastern carriers Etihad, Emirates and Qatar, known as the ME3, of violating the Open Skies accords in their rapid expansion in America.

The launch of service to the Ukrainian capital comes as part of the airline's expansion in Eastern Europe, with services to Skopje in Macedonia and Prague in Czech Republic to follow this summer, Qatar Airways said. This is a time of strong rivalry between our airline and the U.S. carriers, and we are of course immensely proud of our own cabin crew.

American announced earlier this week it will cancel code-share agreements with both Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways, a deal which sees the carrier's market agreed flights between each other allowing then to extend route coverage.

According to Bloomberg News, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker was speaking to a group in Ireland last week during a celebration of a new flight route between Dublin and Doha when he started running down USA airlines.

However, American's decision to end the codeshare agreement with Etihad and Qatar doesn't mean an end to their business relationship.

The American/Qatari interline agreement is also firmly in place through their membership in the Oneworld airline alliance.

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"We are committed to the United States market and American consumers, and are taking all possible measures to ensure that the flying public is not harmed by this decision".

But on Wednesday, Al Baker walked back his statements, calling them "careless".

On the same day, American confirmed that Qatar Airways intends to continue with its plan to acquire an unsolicited equity stake in the airline.

"We are committed to working with all airlines, including all United States carriers, to offer passengers more competition, more destinations, and an overall better flying experience", the Etihad statement added.

Etihad said it was "disappointed" with American's decision, describing it as "anti-competitive and anti-consumer".

That's proven good for consumers, who have more choices for worldwide travel than ever before, and at better prices, but it isn't appreciated by certain legacy carriers facing increased competition, writes Veronique De Rugy.

American Airlines to end codeshare with Etihad, Qatar Airways