Qatar Airways is open to discussions with American Airlines on resuming the carriers' codeshare, following an agreement in the open-skies dispute between Qatar and the USA.

"We are always open to those discussions," says Gunter Saurwein, vice-president of the Americas at Qatar Airways, on interest in resuming its codeshare with American at an event at Washington Dulles International airport on 27 February.

The Oneworld partners maintain their interline agreement and remain connected via the global alliance, he adds.

American will end the codeshare on 24 March. The airline moved to end the tie-up in July 2017, saying the decision was driven by its "extremely strong stance" in the open-skies dispute with Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

In 2015, American, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines alleged that Emirates Airline, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways were able to essentially dump capacity in the US under open skies due to the more than $42 billion in government subsidies they received.

The dispute was settled with Qatar in January, when the country agreed to using international accounting and auditing standards for Qatar Airways, release financial results regularly, and that the carrier would not add flights to the USA from third countries.

The country also agreed to stop subsidising certain passenger charges for Qatar Airways at Doha Hamad International airport, Delta chief executive Ed Bastian told FlightGlobal in January.

The carrier allegedly benefitted from at least $616 million in passenger departure fee credits, according to a 2015 white paper compiled by the US carriers on the Gulf subsidies.

American currently has no plans to resume its codeshare with Qatar Airways, it says.

The airline's decision to end its codeshare with Qatar Airways came as the Gulf carrier made an unsolicited offer to buy an up to 10% stake in American. The offer was dropped in August 2017 after opposition from the airline's management and board.

Qatar Airways serves 10 cities in the USA from Doha, including six American hubs: Chicago O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Miami, New York John F Kennedy and Philadelphia.

In addition, the Gulf carrier is an equity partner with British Airways and an investor in LATAM Airlines Group. American has a joint venture with the former and is seeking one with the latter.

Qatar Airways also has a codeshare with JetBlue Airways in the USA.

"American is a very important partner to us," says Saurwein, adding that that applies even without a codeshare.

Source: Cirium Dashboard