Etihad Airways says it has not been invited to a reported meeting between the United Arab Emirates and United States to discuss allegations of airline subsidies and access to the US market.
The US State Department has invited the UAE and Qatar to an informal meeting next month to discuss the allegations against Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways, according to US media reports.
“We have not received a meeting request or update from the US Government regarding this topic,” Etihad said in a statement on Tuesday. “However, we submitted our formal response to the false allegations made against us by The Big 3 US carriers last May. We respect the process and we await the outcome of the US government’s deliberations.”
Emirates and Qatar Airways earlier declined to comment when contacted by Gulf News.
The meeting comes after more than a year of lobbying by the largest US airlines — American, Delta and United — to renegotiate air treaties and freeze access to the three major Gulf carriers over allegations they have received $42 billion in subsidies. Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways have continuously denied the allegations.
UAE Minister of Economy and General Civil Aviation Authority Chairman Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri said on May 30 the UAE had reached a “gentleman’s agreement” to discuss the allegations with the US.
The State Department has no plan to formally renegotiate its treaties or freeze access, the Wall Street Journal reported on June 27.By Alexander Cornwell
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