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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

US to conduct formal review of Qatar Airways’ subsidy allegations

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Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Three government agencies in the US have agreed to officially look into complaints from American carriers that Gulf airlines are subsidized by their respective governments.

The US departments of State, Commerce and Transportation announced the launch of a formal proceeding on Friday.

The action comes a month after a trio of American airlines offered detailed figures to support claims that Qatar Airways, Emirates and Etihad receive government funding that allow them to unfairly compete against American carriers.

In a joint statement, the departments said:

“The U.S. government takes seriously the concerns raised in the report and is interested in receiving insights and feedback from stakeholders before any decisions are made regarding what action, if any, should be taken.”

If the US airlines are successful in convincing lawmakers to renegotiate the agreements with Qatar and the UAE, Gulf carriers could face restrictions on the number of US flights they’re allowed to operate.

Over the past few years, Qatar Airways has been expanding rapidly in the US, introducing service to Miami, Philadelphia and Dallas/Fort Worth in 2014.

Allegations

According to a report circulated publicly last month by an advocacy group called Americans for Fair Skies, Qatar’s national carrier has received some $16 billion in subsidies in the past decade.

Akbar Al Baker
Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker (right)

It charged that this assistance has enabled it “to expand at a rate that would have been impossible otherwise and to remain in business in spite of its poor financial performance.”

Qatar Airways is owned by the government and does not disclose its financial results.

However, speaking to CNN in February, the carrier’s CEO Akbar Al Baker denied that his airline received any government aid, saying:

“We don’t receive any subsidy. What the government has given us is equity into an airline which it owns.”

The US agencies that are looking into American carriers’ allegations are seeking comments and materials from interested parties until the end of May.

It remains unclear who will weigh in, but consumer advocates such as the United States Travel Association have already come out in support of GCC carriers, saying that open skies agreements have made it “easier and cheaper for American citizens to travel abroad” while helping to attract more foreign tourists.

Thoughts?

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MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

Let’s see what the report states regarding royal family owned airlines with unmatched spending power in the gulf. Should be an interesting read.

Chilidog
Chilidog
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Don’t forget the (completely non-hypocritical) monopoly on booze….

Kingdomishere
Kingdomishere
6 years ago
Reply to  Chilidog

Its all all all here http://www.openandfairskies.com indulge!!!

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago
Reply to  Kingdomishere

What are you ?? Hired internat troll hired by the U.S. airlines to

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

It wouldn’t surprise me, however Qatar could learn from such techniques to improve the worldwide image of Qatar and counter some of the negative publicity out there.

sicti
sicti
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Yes, we should hire Kingdomishere 🙂

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  sicti

I think you need to hire someone a bit more savy, no one likes an over enthusiatic spammer….

sicti
sicti
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Hey, at least he’s good at copy-paste :)))

Kingdomishere
Kingdomishere
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Facts are stubborn things they say and when one is up agaist negative ones character assasination is a good misdirection. If I am paid to propagate facts is that not what teachers do?

The train left the station with facts on board, counter them my friend that is the opportunity U.S. Departments of State, Commerce, and Transportation gave to any concerned party with information that could help them make a decision in thier media note on April 10.

Discrediting me as a troll holds no water aganist the facts involved.

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
6 years ago
Reply to  Kingdomishere

“just a guy who hates to stand by in the face of injustices going unabated irrespective of stark facts that perpetrators choose to deny” Interesting; I would be interested to hear your views on:
-Wal Mart employment, compensation, and related policies

-US government subsidizing the farming and other industries, giving them an unfair advantage against foreign ones in the international market

Come now, don’t be shy 😉

Kingdomishere
Kingdomishere
6 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

Unfortunately this is not the forum, Shabina is watching, sorry to disappoint you.

Azk
Azk
6 years ago
Reply to  Kingdomishere

Apparently your zest to fight injustice has evaporated away. Nice to know.

desertCard
desertCard
6 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

At least on the Walmart front you need to read the news more.

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
6 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

” Walmart is obviously looking to extract the maximum political benefit from its announcement at minimum cost. The company says that its wage increases will impact 500,000 workers, but the number who will see their wages rise from the federal minimum of $7.25 to $9 is much smaller. Only 5,000 of its 1.4 million workers actually make the minimum wage. And the minimum in most of the country, 29 states, is already considerably higher than the federal minimum. Seven states and the District of Columbia have minimums of $9 or higher. So the average pay raise for the affected Walmart workers will be far less than the 24% raise for the very small number currently earning the federal minimum.”

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/making-sense/walmart-raise-wages/

Kingdomishere
Kingdomishere
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Very interesting read it is and available here http://www.openandfairskies.com in an easy to read and understand format complete with charts on the case of EK which I thought was a tough case to crack, but the job they did is exquisite!!!

KK
KK
6 years ago

They will blame Bechtel, Boeing, Airbus,….

Kingdomishere
Kingdomishere
6 years ago
Reply to  KK

Its wait and see but so far no, see http://www.openandfairskies.com for the facts on the case.

sicti
sicti
6 years ago

Bunch of haters these US airlines…

Kingdomishere
Kingdomishere
6 years ago
Reply to  sicti

hhhhmmm until you get the facts on http://www.openandfairskies.com

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
6 years ago
Reply to  Kingdomishere

“The Partnership for Open & Fair Skies is a coalition composed of American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines, along with the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l, the Allied Pilots Association, the Airline Division of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, the Communications Workers of America and the Transport Workers Union.”

Facts from on side are, as they say, one sided 😉

Kingdomishere
Kingdomishere
6 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

Well yes, however they have been weighed and measured by the relevant authorities and have been found to contain substance, reason the authorities are moving forward with a review.

Michael Fryer
Michael Fryer
6 years ago
Reply to  Kingdomishere

And anyone seeking one sided biased facts as presented by Emirates can click this link

http://www.emirates.com/english/images/Airlines%20and%20subsidy%20-%20our%20position%20new_tcm233-845771.pdf

Azk
Azk
6 years ago
Reply to  Kingdomishere

Facts presented by the American airlines is true but the reply from Emirates is one sided. Wonderful logic. “Slow Clap”

al-Lalal
al-Lalal
6 years ago

To paraphrase Mr. Al Baker, QDC’s outrageous prices are not a subsidy. QDC customers just give Qatar Airways equity into a company which they don’t own.

Kingdomishere
Kingdomishere
6 years ago
Reply to  al-Lalal

http://www.openandfairskies.com will offer clarity on the case.

Reem M
Reem M
6 years ago
Reply to  Kingdomishere

r u working with these US Airlines y do u care so much lol

sicti
sicti
6 years ago
Reply to  Reem M

No he’s just promoting his own website.

Diego
Diego
6 years ago

QA prices are not cheap.Chinese Airlines have cheap prices,so to be fair then to look there as well as they travel to US.British Airways and Iberia also offer cheaper tickets from some destinations.They might be better served to throw the treatment of flight attendants on the bargaining table if they would like to change something.

Kingdomishere
Kingdomishere
6 years ago
Reply to  Diego

You may benefit a lot on the clarity offered on http://www.openandfairskies.com on this issue.

Diego
Diego
6 years ago
Reply to  Kingdomishere

Thanks.However if a Country wishes to own,operate and support a national airline,it may just come down to that desire.Canada tried it for years and lost money which was also a form of a subsidy. It goes both ways, if an airline wishes access to other Countries then its expected that Country opens its skys to competition as well.No doubt its a case of National pride for QA.At end of day competition is healthy for the customers and without that,who knows what the prices would look like.So it can be seen as being unfair/unhealthy to subsidise,depending upon the perspective.Then again,where would we be if Countries didn’t use Govt. funds to build roads,railways.They are all forms of transportation.

desertCard
desertCard
6 years ago
Reply to  Diego

Roads and railways are govt infrastructure. You do know why the interstate system in the US was built, right?

Diego
Diego
6 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

Most likely the same at Autobahn,Transcanada Highway,Autopista etc.To move people and cargo and help economically.Similar with airports and air travel.

desertCard
desertCard
6 years ago
Reply to  Diego

Originally to make the movement of troops and military equipment easier.

Diego
Diego
6 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

Sounds American enough.

desertCard
desertCard
6 years ago
Reply to  Diego

So was the autobahn.

So I guess we’re not supposed to protect our borders?

Diego
Diego
6 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

Protecting the borders is what is supposed to happen.I think there has been too many times the arm has extended outside the borders. Detroit went bankrupt,Chicago is on the verge.There are issues inside the borders as well.The Govt. can do whatever they may wish in terms of proping up their QA. Others can complain,but personally I can’t question Qatars desire to promote their airline.I feel America has spent trillions on interventions and military and it might be time to spend more at home.

noel
noel
6 years ago

Why are the butting their head into Qatar airways financial matters ? With the time that they criticise other airlines , they could actually improve their flight services

Kingdomishere
Kingdomishere
6 years ago
Reply to  noel

http://www.openandfairskies.com find your answers here.

Anonymouse
Anonymouse
6 years ago
Reply to  noel

As soon as they enter US airspace, they become of interest. If Qatar Airways doesn’t like it, they can always choose not to fly to the US. This they will not do.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  noel

If it is unfair competition then the US should do something about it. If proved they could limit flights to and from the US for these airlines, the same way Qatar Airways banned Emirates running promotional fares from Qatar.

NewinDoha
NewinDoha
6 years ago

So they say QA would not be able to ‘to expand at a rate that would have been impossible otherwise and to remain in business in spite of its poor financial performance.’

really, so how many of the big 3 US carriers have survived due to government intervention via Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection? just saying!

Kingdomishere
Kingdomishere
6 years ago
Reply to  NewinDoha

http://www.openandfairskies.com will shed more light into this.

ShabinaKhatri
ShabinaKhatri
6 years ago
Reply to  Kingdomishere

Deleting for repeat posts.

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago
Reply to  ShabinaKhatri

Seriously this guy either works in a PR firm hired by the U.S. airlines or something to that extent

Michael Fryer
Michael Fryer
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

If you think that guy is a PR professional click his Disqus profile and read his other ramblings on Kenyan elections and gay marriage. He’s just someone who thinks he has all the answers.

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
6 years ago
Reply to  ShabinaKhatri

Thanks, but he still has many more. God help you.

Kingdomishere
Kingdomishere
6 years ago

http://www.openandfairskies.com outlines the facts very clearly and thier implications in the US airline industry.

It will be very interesting to see how this plays out due to the intertwining interests between the governments involved.

sicti
sicti
6 years ago
Reply to  Kingdomishere

Right…and your only target is Qatar Airways. Talking about fairness….

Teddy
Teddy
6 years ago

Its been shown that the US airlines received billions of dollars worth of government subsidies through the 80s and 90s. You can’t have it both ways.

Anonymouse
Anonymouse
6 years ago
Reply to  Teddy

Sure can, the US can decide to grant or revoke entry privileges at their discretion; the Gulf carriers will play in the end. Germany and Canada did it to Emirates, and the US has a whole lot more clout.

Rav_5
Rav_5
6 years ago

Maybe the US Airlines have a point on this one. However, what would happen if EK, QR and EY stopped ordering Boeings from USA and only stick with Airbus? Would that not have a negative impact on US Economy/Jobs? Cannot benefit on one side, then cry foul on another…. !!! ?

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago
Reply to  Rav_5

What is even funnier than creating more Seattle jobs, all these flights into the U.S. creates jobs across the chain.. From the ticketing desk to the bag boy… Don’t more flights per airport simply create more needs for man hours?

AEC
AEC
6 years ago
Reply to  Rav_5

Isn’t that just going to make Boeing aircraft cheaper for US airlines? I seriously doubt the people behind this campaign are going to be too worried. In fact they seem to have up a head of steam and ready to bulldoze. When you take on 3 of the biggest airlines in the world you’re going to get a response.

Kazmister
Kazmister
6 years ago

Works both ways. If they put the squeeze on the trio, it will affect the American aircraft manufacturing industry. Hint hint, the trio’s appetite for Boeing will take a hit.

muamu
muamu
6 years ago

if it ever claims happen to be true… them (american carriers) can seek help from their goverment as welll!!!

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