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The ongoing saga of whether Gulf airlines are the recipients of unfair aid from their respective governments, compared with their US and European rivals. US airlines have publicly claimed that Emirates, Etihad and Qatar have cumulatively received some $42bn in state subsidies, claims which have been denied by the Gulf carriers, but supported by their European rivals. Last week, EC transport commissioner Violeta Bulc was in Doha for talks with her Gulf Cooperation Council opposites with the intention of jointly developing a new aviation strategy replete with a new set of bilateral agreements. “The talks were very friendly and much more encouraging than the previous one,” she told local reporters.

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