Gulf subsidies, aviation safety hot topics at global meeting

International Air Transport Association meeting to start on Sunday
The ongoing dispute between US and Gulf airlines over alleged state subsidies will be in the spotlight at the next airline industry gathering in Miami, starting on Sunday. Another hot topic will be aviation safety, following the recent Germanwings crash.
As previously reported, three US airlines claim that Gulf carriers have received more than $40 billion in subsidies. They want the US government to review the Open Skies policy on commercial flights between the USA and both Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
Some European carriers, such as Lufthansa and Air France-KLM, support the US airlines’ stance, while the Dutch government says it will temporarily stop giving new slots at Amsterdam Schiphol to Gulf airlines.
However, IAG, which owns British Airways and Iberia, and US airlines like JetBlue support the Open Skies policies as they are.
“This is a debate that goes beyond subsidies. It’s to do with how airlines are run and how markets around the world are changing,” independent aviation consultant John Strickland said.

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