President Donald Trump pledged to roll back “burdensome regulation” in a White House meeting with US airline bosses.

He also told them he would help them compete with foreign carriers that are aided by their governments.

The largest US airlines have been lobbying Washington for action over claims that $50 billion in state backing has enabled Gulf carriers to compete unfairly.

While Trump did not name individual foreign companies, the US airlines last week asked to meet with new US secretary of state Rex Tillerson to discuss their allegations against Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways.

Delta Air Lines chief executive Ed Bastian suggested a connection between opposition to alleged subsidies and Trump’s focus on job creation in the US.

“At Delta, we plan to hire 25,000 people over the next five years with the support of a level playing field globally,” Bastian said after the meeting with Trump.

Bastian added: “We had a positive discussion about many of the major issues facing US travellers, airline employees and the aviation industry, which is a vital economic engine for America.”

Trump made his comments as part of a wide-ranging discussion in which he also called for improvements to airports, air traffic control, roads and railways.

He said he would seek to help US domestic carriers while also encouraging investment by foreign airlines in the US.

“We want to make life good for them also,” he said. “They come with big investments. In many cases, those investments are made by their governments, but they are still big investments.”

Trump added: “You people are regulated probably as much as anybody.

“We’re going to be announcing something I would say over the two or three weeks that will be phenomenal in terms of tax and developing our aviation infrastructure.”

White House press secretary Sean Spicer earlier in the week indicated that the US had “huge economic interest” in the growth of European long haul, low cost carrier Norwegian Air International after it was awarded a foreign air carrier permit in December.

“There is a deal in which [Norwegian’s] having 50% of the crews and the pilots are American based, they’re flying Boeing planes – there’s a huge economic interest that America has in that deal right now,” he said on Tuesday.

The carrier plans to open bases this year with 200 cabin crew and pilots in Newburgh, New York, and Providence, Rhode Island, to expand transatlantic services using new Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft as early as this summer.

These would be in addition to existing bases in New York and Fort Lauderdale.

The Business Travel Coalition applauded the Trump administration for seeing the “massive economic benefits” that flow to the US and its workers from Norwegian Air International.

Every $1 billion in US aerospace exports creates or supports 5,747 jobs, many throughout Boeing’s nationwide supply chain of small and medium-sized companies, according to the Department of Commerce.

“Additionally, by bringing in thousands of tourists annually, US job growth is turbocharged for the travel and tourism industry among airlines, airports, hotel companies, rental car companies, travel agencies and scores of other industries dependent on tourism,” the Business Travel Coalition said.

“Our country’s pro-competition, pro-consumer, pro-growth open skies policy is a Made-in-America success story, representing the gold standard for bilateral trade agreements.

“It provides consumers new and better competitive choices; drives a better balance-of-trade through foreign tourists’ dollars; and provides the marketplace discipline necessary to encourage efficient, innovative commercial air transportation services.”