Oneworld Divided

Oneworld Divided

Qatar just cannot catch a break. With the Gulf dispute, it just wanted to be friends with American, now is a time for the state to have allies. But the US carrier is pushing it away.

American Airlines has said it will end its codeshare agreements with Qatar Airways and Etihad after the next expiration date on 24 March 2018.

American claims that it is, belatedly, trying to cut the ties with the two airlines due to its fights with both carriers over the ongoing subsidy dispute and the ME3s supposed violation of Open Skies policy.

American released a statement saying: “In light of our ongoing dispute over the Open Skies agreements, American Airlines notified Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways on June 29 of our decision to terminate our codeshare relationships.

“Given the extremely strong public stance that American has taken on the ME3 issue, we have reached the conclusion that the codesharing relationships between American and these carriers no longer make sense for us.”

Despite this, Qatar is still looking to buy a 5% stake in American, even after Al-Baker went on tirade about North American airlines hostesses.

Both Gulf airlines fired back at American, with Al-Baker saying the decision was “not in the spirit of the Oneworld alliance” and Etihad was “disappointed” – Reuters reported.

The US airline claims that eliminating the codeshare will not hurt their bottom line.

Lessors are also watching with interest. IBA Group points out that the volume of leased aircraft is approaching 50% in the region, a figure that might surprise given the purchasing power of the big three airlines.

With the US on Qatar’s case about open skies and the UK still not lifting its cabin ban on electronics, dinner at Oneworld meetings must be awkward.

Alex Baldwin
By Alex Baldwin July 17, 2017 12:48