Three of the nation’s biggest airlines — Delta, American and United — have been pressing the U.S. government to freeze new flights from three Middle Eastern carriers that they say compete unfairly in the U.S. by accepting subsidies from their government-backed owners.
But the U.S. Department of State has decided against adopting restrictions on Etihad, Emirates and Qatar Airways. Instead, the Obama administration will talk through the issue this summer with government officials in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. The decision, which hasn’t been confirmed publicly, was first reported by Politico.
Already, opponents of restrictions on the Middle Eastern carriers are applauding the federal agency for refusing to impose restrictions on the foreign carriers.
Foreign-based carriers fly to the U.S. under an aviation policy known as Open Skies, which tries to remove government interference on passenger and cargo flights…