Airline fight: CEOs of top US carriers make rare appearance to blast Middle Eastern rivals

IndustriesAssociated Press

CEOs of the three largest U.S. airlines are stepping up their attack against Middle Eastern competitors that they say get unfair government subsidizes.

The CEOs of American, Delta and United made a rare public appearance together Friday in Washington to detail their claims. United's Jeff Smisek (SMY'-sihk) said the three can compete against other airlines but not against the governments and energy riches of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

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The U.S. airlines want the Obama administration to push those nations to end subsidies for Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways.

The Middle Eastern carriers deny being subsidized. They counter that U.S. airlines have gotten billions in help from Washington over the years.