President Donald Trump met on Thursday with the chief executives of leading American airways to talk about their indictments that subsidies by Qatar and the United Arab Emirates cost jobs in the USA.
The talks between Trump and the CEOs of American Airlines, United Airlines, JetBlue Airways Corp, FedEx, and Atlas Air included Vice President Mike Pence.
The gathering further included the CEO of state-owned Qatar Airways, Akbar al-Baker, who was at the White House last week to promote its decision in June to acquire five new Boeing 777 freighters.
The White House didn’t instantly provide particulars of the meeting.
Since 2015 the biggest U.S. carriers – Delta Air Lines, American and United Airlines – have argued their Gulf rivals are being unfairly backed by their governments, deceiving competition and costing U.S. jobs – something the Gulf carriers refuse.
The Partnership for Open & Fair Skies, an alliance representing Delta, American, United, and aviation unions, said it had a “productive meeting” with Trump.
The CEOs of JetBlue, FedEx, and Atlas Air have warned that restricting the rights of Qatar Airways could result in revenge against U.S. carriers and added, in an April letter, it could result in “a speedy unraveling of hard-fought aviation rights around the globe when different governments take similar steps to protect their state-owned airlines from competitors.”
In April, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the management was scrutinizing Qatar Airways’ purchase of a 49% holdings in Air Italy, which has been flying to U.S. destinations since 2018 in a step seen by U.S. legislators as mocking a deal not to add new flights to the domestic market.