Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways announced yesterday that it will end service between Abu Dhabi and Dallas/Fort Worth from March 25th, 2018, after oneworld partner American Airlines decided in July to end a codeshare agreement between the two carriers on that date.

In a statement, Etihad CEO Peter Baumgartner said that, “The unfortunate decision by American Airlines to terminate a commercial relationship that benefited both carriers has left Etihad with no choice but to suspend flights between our Abu Dhabi home and Dallas/Fort Worth.” Dallas/Fort Worth is American’s biggest hub and home to its headquarters.

American Airlines, along with Delta Air Lines and United Airlines, has been lobbying the U.S. government extensively to investigate allegations of governments in the Middle East giving their airlines state subsidies. The ME3 (Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways) have denied this, with all conducting large media campaigns against the accusations.

In July, American Airlines announced that it would be terminating its codeshare with Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways. In a statement, the airline said that, “Given the extremely strong public stance that American has taken on the ME3 issue, we have reached the conclusion that the codesharing relationships between American and these carriers no longer make sense for us.” The airline also said that cancelling the agreement was “an extension of our stance against the illegal subsidies that these carriers receive from their governments.”

Etihad most recently upgraded their Dallas/Fort Worth service from thrice-weekly to daily in Feburary, and said in a statement that half of its Dallas customers were connecting passengers from American Airlines. The airline said that the cancellation of service to Dallas was “one of several adjustments” being made to their US network, and that “further changes are posible as [the airline] monitors the full impact of the American Airlines codeshare cancellation on Summer 2018 bookings.”

Etihad Airways operates a total of 6 daily flights to its five gateways in the United States, including Chicago, Dallas Fort/Worth, Los Angeles, and Washington.

Featured image by Etihad Airways.

Categories: Industry Talk