Trump to meet with airline CEOs on Qatar flights
(Adds more attendees, background)
By Steve Holland
WASHINGTON, July 18 (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump
planned to meet on Thursday with the chief executives of major
American airlines and Qatar Airways to discuss their accusations
that subsidies by Qatar and United Arab Emirates are costing
jobs in the United States.
The 3:30 p.m. EDT (1930 GMT) meeting between Trump and the
CEOs of American Airlines, United Airlines,
JetBlue Airways Corp, FedEx Corp, Atlas Air
and Qatar will also include Vice President Mike Pence,
the White House said.
Since 2015 the largest U.S carriers - Delta Air Lines
, American and United Airlines - have argued their Gulf
rivals are being unfairly subsidized by their governments,
distorting competition and costing U.S. jobs - something the
Gulf carriers deny.
The CEOs of JetBlue, FedEx and Atlas Air have warned that
restricting the rights of Qatar Airways could lead to
retaliation against U.S. carriers.
In April, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the
administration was scrutinizing state-owned Qatar Airways’
acquisition of a 49% stake in Air Italy, which has been flying
to U.S. destinations since June in a move seen by U.S. lawmakers
as flouting a deal not to add new flights to the domestic
Both Republicans and Democrats in Congress have said they
were concerned that the deal with the Italian carrier
contravened an agreement Qatar Airways reached with the United
States in early 2018.
Qatar Airways acquired the 49% of Italian airline Meridiana
in 2017, rebranded it Air Italy and transformed it into a
carrier with five announced non-stop U.S. destinations from
In a side letter to the agreements, the Qatari government
indicated there was no intention to launch additional flights
from Qatar to U.S. destinations but said some passengers would
board flights in Europe before flying to U.S. destinations.
(Reporting by Steve Holland and David Shepardson; Additional
reporting by Jeff Mason; editing by Chris Reese and Marguerita
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