Air France-KLM Group said state subsidies for airlines should be governed by rules paralleling those applied to other industries by the World Trade Organization.

Alexandre de Juniac, Air France-KLM’s chief executive officer, has asked European Union Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc to consider moves to end the airline sector’s exemption from the WTO mechanism, he said in comments Wednesday.

De Juniac, who made the pitch during a July 15 lobbying trip to Brussels, is seeking a rule change as U.S. and some European carriers face off against Gulf rivals over what they say is illegal aid for fleet and airport expansion that’s diverting long-haul traffic via Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Qatar.

The CEO, whose remarks were published in Le Monde, said Western network carriers could go the same way as Pan Am, TWA, Swissair, Malev and Sabena if they fail to address the issue.

In a rebuttal of U.S. subsidy allegations, Emirates President Tim Clark has said airlines were exempted from WTO subsidy rules largely at the behest of American carriers, which given a rule change would face both curbs and competition from foreign operators in their domestic market.

–With assistance from Deena Kamel Yousef in Dubai.


This article was written by Andrea Rothman from Bloomberg and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Photo Credit: Head of Air France-KLM Alexandre de Juniac, speaks during a press conference in Paris, Sunday Sept. 28, 2014. Michel Euler / Associated Press