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The US-Gulf row is becoming increasingly interesting to bystanders. The latest revelation is that the US carriers appear to have unearthed 19 years’ worth of Qatar Airways financial statements, which apparently show that the airline accumulated losses exceeding 50% of its share capital, and had to consider its future rather carefully in 2009. Equally interesting is the news from Business Travel Coalition, a deliciously noisy pro-open skies US lobby group, which discovered through Wikileaks that between 1918 and 1998 the US government spent $155bn in support of aviation activities.

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