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IAG is bucking the trend by stepping out of the escalating row over Gulf carriers and their possible competitive advantage. It has quit membership of the Association of European Airlines over the policy, as the AEA has called on the EU to “dissuade non-EU governments from pursuing discriminatory policies”. IAG, which is of course now 10%-owned by Qatar Airways, has consistently called for liberalised air markets and non-protectionist policies, and said it was not willing to compromise. “We believe global liberalisation of our industry is fundamental to our future growth.”

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