Accusations are being made by American based airlines that Middle Eastern airlines are receiving subsidies from their governments. If this were found to be true, it would violate the Open Skies Agreement, which states there should be a lack of government interference in managing flights. The subsidies are problematic since they allow Middle Eastern airlines to outcompete various American airlines for flights due to the ability to provide cheaper flight options.

This business conflict has received significant attention in Atlanta because of the overwhelming role Delta Airlines plays in the city. Delta is based out of Atlanta but still has a lot of competition from other airlines because Atlanta is the world’s busiest airport.

Qatar Airways was not part of this market until recently. After a long two-year battle, facing opposition mainly from Delta, Qatar Airways was able to fly its first flight to Atlanta. However, upon arrival their gate was blocked by a Delta plane. This situation appeared as an attempt by Delta to sabotage Qatar Airways, but that is not the case. Qatar Airways had received warning in advance they would not be able to land their plane at the desired gate because of the size of plane they wanted to fly. Yet, they decided to fly to Atlanta anyways.

Since these tensions started, Delta has made bold decisions that have impacted the Atlanta community. For example, after the inaugural flight to Atlanta, Qatar Airways held a celebration at Fox Theater. In response, Delta decided to revoke its sponsorship of the Fox Theater.

Atlanta has to regulate gate use since there are a limited numbers of gates available at the airport. However, this issue is complicated to address since there are also moral implications that have to be accounted for. Since Qatar Airways is government regulated, social factors in Qatar, like their treatment of women, affect the way Atlanta needs to address the issue since support of Qatar Airways only helps the government which allows these actions to occur.

Therefore, Atlanta should allow Qatar to fly into Atlanta, although it should prioritize Delta flights. It should also attempt to better regulate flights to ensure Delta, and other airlines, are not consistently outcompeted by the cheaper flights Qatar Airlines is able to offer.

 

 

Image:

Airport. Photography. Britannica ImageQuest, Encyclopædia Britannica, 25 May 2016.
quest.eb.com/search/139_1928134/1/139_1928134/cite. Accessed 28 Feb 2017.

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