File - In this May 4, 2014 file photo, an Etihad Airways plane prepares to land at the Abu Dhabi airport in the United Arab Emirates. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili, File)
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The United States and the United Arab Emirates are nearing a deal to resolve a years-old spat over alleged government subsidies to Emirati airlines that the major U.S. airlines claim have tilted the competition against them, four individuals familiar with the negotiations told the Associated Press.The airlines will also assert to the United States that they currently have no plans to add additional flights to the United States from Europe or other destinations outside of the United Arab Emirates.The U.S. airlines claim that the Gulf airlines have managed to mask payments to their airlines through creative accounting, such as catering contracts arranged at far below market rates.The U.S. carriers claim those flights offered by flag carriers of the UAE undercut the flights they offer on the same routes.The U.S. airlines had sought a "freeze" from the Gulf airlines – a binding commitment that they wouldn't offer any more Fifth Freedom flights – but appear to have fallen short.
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