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BY: Adam Kredo
U.S. air carriers are calling foul on Qatar for violating an international agreement aimed at leveling the playing field for international airlines, a backdoor move that has seen the small oil rich nation inject tens of millions of dollars into a once-defunct Italian airline.
Qatar - Agreement - Open - Skies - Act
Qatar in 2018 signed on to an agreement known as the Open Skies Act that was meant to prevent the nation from using its massive cash reserves to subsidize its international air carrier, Qatar Airways. Soon after the agreement, Qatar devised a backdoor scheme to purchased a stake in the failing Italian airline Meridiana and use it to violate the terms of the agreement.
The original agreement was meant to stop Qatar's expansion into the United States and focused on national security issues, such as Doha's continued support for extremist terror groups across the Middle East. In purchasing a major stake in Meridiana, now branded as Air Italy, Qatar was able to sidestep the agreement.
US - Air - Carriers - Congress - Trump
U.S. air carriers and some in Congress are now calling on the Trump administration to hold Qatar accountable for its violation of the Open Skies Act, arguing that the purchase of Air Italy has enabled Qatar to offer bargain rates for flights into the United States.
U.S.-based airlines are now feeling the pressure and jointly sponsored a full page New York Times advertisement urging the Trump administration to hold Qatar accountable for its backdoor dealings.
Qatar - Airways - Agreement - Administration - Government
"Qatar Airways is ignoring the 2018 agreement that your administration signed by using massive government subsidies to launch new routes to the United States through its stake in Air Italy," states the advertisement, which was signed by American Airlines, Delta, and United. "Air Italy was a struggling regional carrier until Qatar Airways injected tens of millions of dollars into the company to circumvent the agreement and expand its...
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