BREAKING NEWS Off-duty Boswell Town Marshal dies in single-vehicle crash Full Story
SEVERE WX : Flood Warning View Alerts

Big U.S. airlines claim win in Qatar subsidy dispute

For years, the big American airlines have accused Qatar Airways, Etihad and Emirates of taking billions of dollars in...

Posted: Jan 31, 2018 12:38 PM
Updated: Jan 31, 2018 12:38 PM

For years, the big American airlines have accused Qatar Airways, Etihad and Emirates of taking billions of dollars in government subsidies and gaining an unfair advantage.

Now, they're cheering an agreement between the U.S. and Qatar that they say will create a level playing field.

Following a meeting with Qatari officials in Washington this week, the U.S. State Department said Tuesday that Qatar had agreed to match American levels of financial transparency.

Airlines in both countries should "issue public annual reports with financial statements audited externally in accordance with internationally-recognized accounting standards, to the extent they are not already doing so," the State Department said in a statement.

"Within two years, those airlines should publicly disclose significant new transactions with state-owned enterprises and take steps to ensure that such transactions are based on commercial terms," it added.

United, Delta and American Airlines have long called for the U.S. government to review Open Skies agreements that allow Gulf carriers to fly freely from the United Arab Emirates and Qatar to any U.S. destination.

They say Qatar Airways, Emirates and Etihad have benefited from subsidies worth $50 billion. The Gulf carriers have always denied the accusation.

Qatari officials did not respond to requests for comment, but a separate joint statement issued by the U.S. State Department said both governments "welcomed a set of understandings on civil aviation... aimed at ensuring healthy competition in the global aviation sector while maintaining the Open Skies framework of U.S. international aviation policy."

Related: Delta flies into China trouble over Tibet and Taiwan

The big U.S. carriers welcomed the news.

"The administration's actions... thoughtfully address the illegal subsidies received by Qatar Airways, and most importantly, support American workers and closer to home," American Airlines CEO Doug Parker said in a statement.

Qatar Airways declined to comment. The carrier already releases annual consolidated financial statements audited by EY.

Qatar Airways flies directly from Doha to 10 U.S. destinations. Last year, it was interested in purchasing 10% of American Airlines but a month later ditched the plans.

Experts say there's lots of potential for Qatar Airways to grow in the U.S.

"Despite Qatar Airways' already large presence in the US, [it] could be much bigger. It has a large South Asian network to feed to the U.S. via its Doha hub," said Will Horton, senior analyst for North Asia & the Middle East at CAPA-Centre for Aviation. "The announcement may reduce tensions as Qatar grows," he added.

Related: Airbus A380: Will $16B Emirates order save the superjumbo?

Qatar's reported pledge on transparency comes as it bolsters its economic defenses against a boycott by the UAE and other countries in the Gulf.

The UAE, together with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Egypt, cut all diplomatic and transport links with Qatar last year, accusing Doha of funding terrorism and destabilizing the Middle East. Qatar strenuously denies those claims.

Qatar's finance minister, Ali Shareef Al Emadi told CNNMoney last week that the embargo wouldn't stop the country's national carrier from growing.

With Qatar having struck a deal, the UAE airlines may now find themselves more exposed to U.S. pressure.

Delta CEO Ed Bastian said he would continue working to end "harmful trade violations" by Emirates and Etihad.

"Talks with the UAE are likely more complex," said Horton. "The two airlines and their shareholders may have different views on how to liaise with the U.S."

Emirates and Etihad both declined to comment.

Emirates chairman Sheikh Ahmed Al Maktoum told CNNMoney last year that his airline supports more than 1 million jobs in the U.S. through its purchases of Boeing aircraft and repair and maintenance deals with GE.

Lafayette
Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 61°
Kokomo
Cloudy
58° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 58°
Rensselaer
Cloudy
50° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 36°
Feels Like: 50°
Lafayette
Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 57° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 61°
Danville
Cloudy
55° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 55°
Frankfort
Cloudy
57° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 57°
Frankfort
Cloudy
57° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 57°
Monticello
Cloudy
56° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 56°
Monticello
Cloudy
56° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 56°
Logansport
Cloudy
55° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 55°
March coming in like a lamb Monday...
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

WLFI is promoting fire safety with FREE smoke detectors

 WLFI and several local fire departments are helping with your fire safety this winter. CLICK HERE. 

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 660942

Reported Deaths: 12556
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion905601638
Lake48352874
Allen35762635
Hamilton32026396
St. Joseph29865511
Elkhart25350414
Vanderburgh21225377
Tippecanoe19977200
Johnson16319356
Porter15938269
Hendricks15801300
Clark11928180
Madison11730316
Vigo11578229
Monroe10312161
Delaware9830179
LaPorte9755196
Howard9047196
Kosciusko8549109
Bartholomew7440147
Warrick7403150
Hancock7394130
Floyd7189169
Wayne6630191
Grant6422157
Morgan6075125
Boone607288
Dubois5895111
Dearborn546866
Cass543399
Henry541793
Marshall5417104
Noble508578
Jackson464366
Shelby460190
Lawrence4179111
Gibson400881
Harrison398763
Clinton395053
Montgomery386283
DeKalb384678
Miami356763
Knox356485
Whitley348936
Huntington342376
Steuben337855
Wabash330876
Putnam329459
Ripley326861
Adams322549
Jasper315443
White297252
Jefferson294473
Daviess285396
Fayette271456
Decatur270488
Greene261280
Posey260531
Wells257674
Scott249950
Clay240844
LaGrange240770
Randolph225576
Spencer217030
Jennings214744
Washington210427
Sullivan203139
Fountain201142
Starke187951
Owen181953
Fulton178237
Jay177628
Carroll176418
Perry173235
Orange171150
Rush164322
Vermillion160242
Franklin159335
Tipton146141
Parke138815
Pike127432
Blackford120627
Pulaski106444
Newton96531
Brown94939
Benton91813
Crawford90313
Martin80014
Warren75513
Switzerland7537
Union67110
Ohio53211
Unassigned0431

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events