Etihad Airways says it is “disappointed” by American Airlines’ decision to terminate its codeshare relationship and views it as “anti-competitive and anti-consumer.”

American Airlines announced July 12 that it notified Abu Dhabi-based Etihad and fellow oneworld alliance member Qatar Airways at the end of June that the codeshare arrangements with each carrier would end in March 2018. American said its decision was made as a protest against what it alleges to be government subsidies of the major Gulf carriers.

Responding to the announcement, an Etihad spokesperson said its codeshare, begun in 2009, has been “mutually beneficial” and provided passengers flying to and from the US with more and better flight options to points in the Middle East, Indian subcontinent and other destinations that historically have not been served by US airlines.

“We view the decision by American Airlines as being anti-competitive and anti-consumer. This action will reduce choices for consumers and may result in higher fares for travelers to and from the United States,” the spokesperson said.

“We are committed to the US market and American consumers, and are taking all possible measures to ensure that the flying public is not harmed by this decision. We will continue our interline relationship with American Airlines to help ensure continued connectivity to secondary markets. We are committed to working with all airlines, including all United States carriers, to offer passengers more competition, more destinations, and an overall better flying experience.

Etihad added that its six daily flights to the US “in no way threaten American Airlines, which together with its regional partner American Eagle, operates 6,700 flights daily to 350 destinations in 50 countries.”

Karen Walker karen.walker@penton.com