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October 6, 2014

BTC: U.S. Airlines Turn Against Open Skies

According to the Business Travel Coalition, the so-called U.S. legacy airlines -- Delta Air Lines, American Airlines and United Airlines -- may ask the U.S. government to re-evaluate its approach towards open skies agreements with other countries. BTC, an advocacy group for business travelers, says the carriers are concerned about growing competition from Middle Eastern carriers.

BTC believes the Gulf airlines, particularly Emirates, Qatar Airways and Etihad, have drawn the increased ire of the U.S. and European airline industry in recent years because they've expanded rapidly and ordered hundreds of new widebody aircraft. BTC said Richard Anderson, Delta's CEO, has been particularly vocal in his opposition. 

Kevin Mitchel, chairman of Business Travel Coalition, isn't amused, noting: "To persuade the White House and DOT to change the rules now after the open skies agreements have been negotiated - it's an outrageous ploy." 

To read more from BTC on this position, go here: http://btcnews.co/1rKrS8T.

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