The CEOs of American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines have published an open letter to the White House concerning Qatar Airways and Air Italy:
President Donald J. Trump The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500
Dear President Trump,
Your administration was built on the enduring principle that the U.S. government will stand up for American workers against foreign governments that break their trade agreements with our country. The American people are grateful for that promise.
Today, America’s airline workers are counting on you to step up on their behalf.
In January 2018, your administration reached a historic agreement with Qatar over its Open Skies violations. While we hoped this agreement would hold Qatar accountable and force its heavily subsidized airline, Qatar Airways, to follow the rules and stop hurting American workers, that did not happen.
Today, Qatar Airways is ignoring the 2018 agreement that your administration signed by using massive government subsidies to launch new routes to the United States through its stake in Air Italy. Air Italy was a struggling regional carrier until Qatar Airways injected tens of millions of dollars into the company to circumvent the agreement and expand its U.S. presence. In the last few days, Qatar Airways has used its Italian proxy to launch routes to Los Angeles and San Francisco, and added flights to Miami – a further effort to undermine U.S. airlines. Simply put, Qatar Airways represents a grave threat to American jobs and the health of the airline industry.
No rule-abiding business can compete with a massively subsidized airline that ignores economic realities and can wipe away losses with one infusion of government cash after another.
We respectfully encourage your administration to hold Qatar accountable for violating
its agreement with the United States and affirm that we will not tolerate these continued infractions. We appreciate your resolute leadership in enforcing fair trade principles and ask that you continue to stand up for the more than 1.2 million U.S. workers whose jobs depend on a strong and vibrant passenger airline industry.
Doug Parker, CEO, American Airlines
Edward Bastian, CEO Delta Air Lines
Oscar Munoz, CEO, United Airlines