A top official at Delta Air Lines has praised the Trump administration for taking tough steps to ensure that foreign airlines are not unfairly benefitting from government subsidies as they compete with US carriers.
Speaking as a representative of the Partnership for Open and Fair Skies coalition, Delta’s chief legal officer and executive vice president Peter Carter said the Trump administration “has moved mountains in understanding that these subsidies are contrary to Open Skies agreements and need to be addressed”, reports Forbes.
As a result of negotiations with the Qatari government, Qatar Airways will now provide audited financial information to US regulators to address concerns about subsidized operations on flights to and from the US.
“If they are not using subsidies and have transparent financials, [Qatar Airways] becomes a full-fledged member of the international airline community, playing on a level playing field,” said Carter.
Federal officials are holding similar talks with the government of the United Arab Emirates about Emirates and Etihad Airways. “I would hope our government has the same kind of relationship with the UAE that it has with Qatar and can do a deal that would require government-owned airlines to operate without benefit of a subsidy,” said Carter.
The Partnership for Open and Fair Skies includes most major US airlines and their labour unions. The group claims that Qatar, Emirates, and Etihad have received a combined $50 billion in subsides from the governments of their respective home countries.