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Al Baker joke brings sour response from US

Posted 10 March 2016 · Add Comment

A flippant remark by Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker has sparked off another row with an American pressure group.

Announcing new routes for the Doha-based airline at the ITB show in Berlin, Al Baker said he was launching a daily flight to Atlanta – the home base of rivals Delta - “in order to rub salt into the wounds of Delta.”
Delta had joined airline giants American and United in calling for an investigation into Qatar, Emirates and Etihad over unfair subsidies.
But Al Baker’s joke comment fell on stony ground in the States
The Partnership for Open and Fair Skies spokesperson Jill Zuckman said; ““Mr. Al Baker has made it crystal clear that the subsidies his airline receives from the government of Qatar allow him to fly routes for the sake of petty peevishness rather than rational, market-based reasoning. Of course, with $17.5 billion in subsidies, Mr. Al Baker can choose to fly anywhere, anytime – even if his flights lose money and make no economic sense.
“The truth is, Qatar Airways is expanding at an inordinate rate because of the market-distorting buckets of cash it receives each year.”
 

Al Baker on a previous US launch - Atlanta is June may be more challenging for the Qatar airline

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