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American Airlines ends codeshare deals with Qatar, Etihad

© AFP/File | American Airlines planes are viewed at Philadelphia International Airport in July 2017

NEW YORK (AFP) - 

American Airlines said Wednesday it is ending its codeshare relationships with Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways as part of its push against government subsidies of Middle Eastern carriers.

American notified Doha-based Qatar Airways and Abu Dhabi-based Etihad of its decision on June 29 to end the "codeshare" partnership -- the sharing of a flight by two carriers.

Maintaining the program "no longer (makes) sense for us," an American Airlines spokesman said.

"This decision has no material financial impact on American and is an extension of our stance against the illegal subsidies that these carriers receive from their governments."

Qatar Airways said in June it wanted to buy as much as a 10 percent stake in American Airlines, which caught the US carrier by surprise.

Foreign policy experts viewed the move as an attempt by Qatar to garner foreign support amid a diplomatic clash between Qatar and four neighboring states, including Saudi Arabia.

American -- along with fellow US carriers Delta Air Lines and United Airlines -- has called for the White House to crack down on an alleged $50 billion in state subsidies to Middle East carriers. The US companies say the home-country financial backing allow the airlines to illegally compete in the US market.

© 2017 AFP