CEOs from American, United, JetBlue Meet with Trump Over Gulf Airline Subsidies

By Jeremy Del Nero on 19 July 2019
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IMG_7747 2Top executives from American Airlines, United Airlines, JetBlue Airways, and two freight carriers met with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence on Friday about concerns about government subsidies of airlines in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

The roster included American CEO Doug Parker, United CEO Oscar Munoz, JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes, FedEx CEO Frederick Smith, and Atlas Air CEO Bill Flynn.

Qatar Airways CEO Akbar al-Baker was also in attendance.

In 2018, Trump signed an open-skies agreement with Qatar and the UAE that prohibited subsidies from flowing to Emirates, Etihad Airways, and Qatar Airways. The three airlines agreed that they would not offer any non-stop flights between the United States and Europe.

In an op-ed piece in USA Today penned by Parker, Munoz, and Ed Bastian, Delta’s CEO, who was not present at today’s meeting, the three industry leaders said that the two nations are violating that pact.

“Today, we met with President Trump to discuss Qatar’s continued violation of its 2018 agreement with the United States,“ said Parker in a statement released following the meeting. “These violations represent a serious threat to the U.S. airline industry and the more than 1.2 million American jobs it supports.”

Parker added that he looks forward working with the White House “to hold Qatar accountable and protect U.S. jobs.”

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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