Qatar Airways says Air Italy stake compliant with 2018 U.S.-Qatar aviation agreement

| April 12, 2019

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State-owned Qatar Airways on Thursday dismissed concerns its 49 percent stake in Air Italy breaches a 2018 aviation agreement between the United States and Qatar, designed to address U.S. concerns that Gulf airlines had an unfair competitive advantage. The U.S is "looking very closely" at the deal after Republicans and Democrats said on Wednesday they were concerned it violated the agreement.  Qatar Airways bought a stake in Italian airline Meridiana in 2017, rebranded it Air Italy and transformed it into a carrier with five announced non-stop U.S. destinations from Milan.Qatar Airways said the stake was "fully compliant" with the 2018 U.S.-Qatar Understandings, an additional pact that accompanied the U.S-Qatar Open Skies agreement. Since 2015 the largest U.S carriers - Delta Air Lines, American Airlines Group and United Airlines - have argued their Gulf rivals are being unfairly subsidized by their governments, distorting competition.

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