Delta Air Lines, which pointedly said it would not renew its sponsorship of Atlanta's Fox Theatre due to an event hosted by a key rival at the venue, also had a message regarding other companies and organizations it counts as partners.
The event that caused the falling out with the Fox was a dinner hosted by Qatar Airways on Tuesday night featuring a private concert by singer Jennifer Lopez, to celebrate the carrier's new Atlanta-Doha route launching June 1.
Delta has been in a war of words with Qatar Airways for a year and a half over the issue of government subsidies and airline competition, arguing that Qatar and certain other Middle East airlines are growing with the unfair help of funding from their governments.
This week, Delta in an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution said it will not renew its sponsorship of the Fox after their contract expires May 31, 2017, citing a harsh comment Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker made about starting the Atlanta flights to “rub salt in the wounds of Delta” and Delta's surprise at finding out about the Qatar launch party at the Fox.
"We constantly evaluate the kinds of organizations we support, and so it's hard for me to say it would or would not be an issue," Carter said.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.