Qatar Airways to launch flights to Ukraine

WATCH: Sexist Airline CEO boasts of employing young attendants — and mocks 'grandmothers' who work for rivals

American Airlines has notified Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways that it will not extend its codeshare partnerships with both Middle East carriers beyond their expiration dates of March 2018, American confirmed Wednesday.

American Airlines has cancelled code-share agreements with Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways as the USA carrier seeks to increase pressure over alleged state subsidies. However, an Etihad spokesman called the American's decision to end the codeshare which has been in place since 2009 "anticompetitive and anti-consumer" in an email to Business Insider. They claim the airlines rapid expansion in the U.S.is hurting American jobs.

Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker is apologising for referring to USA airline flight attendants as "grandmothers".

American's decision to end the agreements which allow airlines to book passengers on each other's flights, ramps up an acrimonious dispute between USA carriers and Gulf competitors over competitive advantages.

Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker bragged about how young his flight attendants were and disparaged American airlines for hiring "grandmothers" during a speech in Dublin, Ireland, on July 5 (video below).

USA carriers say the alleged subsidies distort the air travel market and could threaten American jobs.

The signing event was attended by Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker and Hamad International Airport Chief Operating Officer Eng. Badr Al Meer, who were joined by a delegation of senior Qatar Airways management.

The Middle Eastern carrier - which holds ten per cent of LATAM and a 20 per cent stake in British Airways-owner IAG - is seeking a ten per cent stake in its rival.

American said in a regulatory filing that Qatar has filed a new notice of its intent to buy American shares.

When Qatar Airways launched Atlanta-Doha flights previous year, it sparked a dispute with Delta over a gate at the airport and prompted Delta to withdraw its sponsorship of the Fox Theatre, which hosted a gala for Qatar.

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