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Wed 27 Jul 2016 01:39 PM

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'Open skies' talks: Gulf airlines to face no action

Discussions between US, UAE and Qatar follow claims that Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways have competed unfairly

'Open skies' talks: Gulf airlines to face no action

Gulf airlines will face no formal action following US Government talks over the “open skies” policy, according to reports.

Talks were held between the US state department and officials from the UAE and Qatar governments over the past two weeks, following accusations from three US airlines in 2015 that Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways were competing unfairly.

The state department said it looked seriously at the allegations and has taken no formal action, reported The National.

Talks "were government-to-government only [and] we have not invoked the consultations provision of our bilateral open skies agreements", said senior state department spokeswoman Nicole Thompson.

The accusations from American Airlines, United Airlines and Delta Air Lines said the Gulf airlines were heavily subsidised by their host governments, which have been strongly denied by all three carriers.

In response to the state department's decision, a spokesperson for Etihad Airways said: “The conduct of the airline remains fully consistent with the US–UAE Air Services Agreement. We will continue to comply with all existing treaty obligations.

"We are committed to providing high quality air services and enhancing consumer choice and remain focussed on delivering our range of travel services around the world.”

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