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U.S. Airlines, Qatar Airways sign strategic partnership, codeshare deal



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American Airlines Group Ltd. (AAGL), said on Tuesday that it had signed a strategic partnership deal with Qatar Airways and reviving its codeshare agreement.

The largest U.S. airline also said it was considering launching service from the U.S. to Doha.

Starting in 2015, the largest U.S. carriers argued, their Gulf rivals were being unfairly subsidised by their governments, distorting competition and costing U.S. jobs, something the Gulf carriers deny.

According to American Chairman, and Chief Executive Doug Parker, the issues that led to the suspension of our partnership two years ago have been addressed.

“We believe resuming our codeshare agreement will allow us to provide service to markets that our customers, team members and shareholders’ value,” Parker said.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Akbar Al- Baker, said the strategic partnership would bring together two of the world’s largest airline networks, increasing choices for millions of passengers and providing seamless connectivity to significant number of new destinations.

However, pending government approvals, American would place its code on some Qatar Airways’ nonstop and connecting flights to and from the U.S. and Qatar Airways’ hub in Doha.

This, it said would allow the U.S. customers access to additional destinations in the Middle East, East Africa, and Asia that it does not serve.

Qatar Airways will place its code on select flights going beyond American’s hubs in Dallas-hence fourth, Chicago O’Hare, Philadelphia, Miami, New York-JFK and Los Angeles, and its international flights to and from Europe, the Caribbean/Central America/South America.

However, the U.S. in June 2017, notified Qatar of its decision to terminate its codeshare relationship.

Earlier, Brazilian budget airline Gol (GOLL4.SA), signed a codeshare agreement with the U.S. Airlines.

However, the U.S. also announced it was expanding its relationship with Alaska Airlines (ALK.N), which is also joining the global airline network one world, including Qatar and the U.S.

In April 2019, U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, said the administration was scrutinising Qatar Airways’ acquisition of a 49% stake in Air Italy, which had been flying to U.S. destinations since 2018.

This, move was seen by the U.S. lawmakers as flouting a deal not to add new flights to the domestic market.

Earlier, Qatar Airways and another investor agreed to put Air Italy into liquidation.

Edited By: Yahaya Isah/Emmanuel Yashim

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