CEOs of American Airlines, United Continental and Delta Air request to meet with US Secretary of State Tillerson

February 3, 2017 8:44 am

Chief Executive Officers of the top three US airlines by passenger traffic have requested a meeting with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in order to discuss the matter that state-owned carriers in the Gulf are unfairly subsidized, which lowers flight prices and forces out rival companies on key routes.

“We are writing to bring to your attention an issue of utmost importance to the future of our industry: the massive subsidization of three state-owned Gulf carriers – Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways and Emirates – and the significant harm this subsidized competition is causing to U.S. airlines and U.S. jobs”, CEOs of American Airlines Group Inc, United Continental Holdings Inc and Delta Air Lines Inc stated in a letter, published on the website of the US airlines-backed Partnership for Open & Fair Skies.

“The Gulf carriers have received over $50 billion in documented subsidies from their government owners since 2004”, the letter revealed.

US carriers have been optimistic that President Donald Trump will step in and act against foreign interference in American markets.

Delta Air shares rose for a second consecutive trading session on Thursday. The stock edged up 0.25% ($0.12) to $47.38, with the daily high and the daily low being at $47.66 and $46.48 respectively. In the week ended on January 29th the shares of the transportation company lost 1.58% of their market value compared to a week ago, which marked a second consecutive period of decline and also the worst performance since the week ended on December 18th. The stock retreated 3.96% in January to mark the first monthly drop since last August. For the entire 2016, Delta Air shares lost 2.96%.

United Continental shares also registered their second straight session of gains on February 2nd. The stock went up 0.92% ($0.66) to $72.14, after touching a daily high at $72.34, or a level not seen since January 30th ($72.99). In the week ended on January 29th the shares of the US carrier lost 1.09% of their market value compared to a week ago, which marked their first drop in the past three weeks. The stock slumped 3.31% in January, or for the first time in the past seven months. For the entire 2016, United Continental shares gained 27.19%.

On the other hand, shares of American Airlines Group retreated for a fifth consecutive trading session on Thursday. The stock edged down 0.09% ($0.04) to $44.01, after touching a daily low at $43.57, or a level not seen since November 14th 2016 ($42.98). In the week ended on January 29th the shares of the US airline lost 2.19% of their market value compared to a week ago, which marked their first slump in the past three weeks and also the worst performance since the week ended on January 1st. The stock plummeted 5.23% in January, or for the first time since last June. For the entire 2016, the group’s shares gained 10.25%.

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