The US, Emirates, and Etihad have ended three years of drama created when Delta asked the US government to help raise airfare prices and limit consumer flight choices and convinced United and American to go along.
- United had to mostly shut up in the campaign against large Gulf airlines being too intertwined with their governments after its own CEO was forced out amidst an FBI corruption scandal in which it was learned that United bribed a public official in exchange for favors at Newark airport.
- American though was all-in, severing codeshares with its two partners that actually gave the carrier feed from India, Pakistan and the surrounding region.
American Airlines at New York JFK
Delta in the meantime cemented ties with Jet Airways giving it a presence in the India market. Jet is now run by a former Delta executive who severed that airline’s own ties with American.
And now that the US has settled with Qatar, Emirates, and Etihad literally changing nothing about flying to the U.S. by those three airlines Delta says everything is different and now it can look at restarting service to India.
Delta Air Lines Inc. Chief Executive Ed Bastian said an agreement between the U.S. and two Persian Gulf states affords new protections to U.S. airlines that make it worth restarting service to foreign destinations that could include India.
“We can now go back into markets that we’ve been run out of,” he said Monday in an interview.
Of course that is because preserving the status quo of competition, in which they said it made no sense to fly to India, now means that it could make sense to fly to India.
And any decision to fly to India would have nothing whatsoever with its newfound partner being able to deliver connecting traffic from all over that country to Delta’s flights to the U.S. What would it even look like if airline executives told the truth?
Meanwhile Doug Parker told American Airlines employees that the new agreement with Etihad and Qatar addresses “illegal subsidies” even though the agreement itself specifically acknowledges that subsidies aren’t illegal under U.S. Open Skies treaties. What would it even look like if airline executives told the truth?