In my view, the American/Delta/United initiative against the Gulf carriers will ultimately prove unsuccessful. The Gulf carriers have made the point that the U.S. carriers should not continue to enjoy antitrust immunity for their transatlantic alliances, granted by the U.S. Government, while at the same time the U.S. Government would theoretically restrict the Gulf carriers’ exercise of open-skies rights. That is a valid point in my view. Of course, the U.S. carriers counter that what they want is the U.S. Government to open consultations with the UAE/Qatar Governments over the claim the Gulf carriers are subsidized. And perhaps the U.S. Government will request consultations. In the end, however, I do not think that will lead to any real change — especially considering the value of the transatlantic alliances to the three U.S. carriers.

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