11 MAY 2015
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In what is seen in some quarters as a provocative move Qatar Airways has confirmed its plans to expand its services to the United States. It is likely to trigger a backlash from US airlines that accuse it of competing unfairly through state subsidies.
The Gulf carrier announced its first direct flights to Atlanta, Boston and Los Angeles from its Doha hub and its second daily flight to New York.
The expansion comes as American Airlines, Delta and United press for a temporary freeze on new Gulf airline service to the United States.
The US airlines and their unions have alleged that Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways have received more than US$40bn in subsidies from their home governments allowing the airlines to drive down ticket prices and pushing competitors out of key markets.
The Gulf carriers have denied the allegations and said US airlines are losing market share due to poor service.
Qatar Airways said it would fly Boeing 777s to Los Angeles and Atlanta, and Airbus A350s on its Boston route and for its second New York flight.
Los Angeles service begins 1 January 2016, followed by Boston on 16 March and Atlanta on 1 July, dates which will come around surprisingly quickly. www.qatarairways.com
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