Qatar Air CEO says still keen on Emirates alliance

Akbar Al Baker says alliance with Dubai airline would make both carriers 'even stronger'

Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker

Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker

Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker has said he is “always open” to the possibility of an alliance with Dubai-based Emirates Airline.

He told Arabian Business that the integration of the two fast-growing Gulf carriers would strength both airlines and would benefit the region as a whole.

“We are always open [to an alliance with Emirates Airline],” Al Baker said while on a visit to Dubai. “I think now the closeness between Emirates and Qatar Airways will really make a very strong airline.”

Despite the Doha-based airline announcing it is set to be fully integrated into the Oneworld alliance from September, Al Baker pointed to Emirates’ recent alliance with Australian rival Qantas as a clear example the Dubai airline was open to integration.

“You never know: Did you ever expect only one year ago that Emirates and Qantas would get together? Things in aviation can move fast. Integration of Emirates and Qatar Airways will benefit this region and will make the two airlines even stronger than they are today.”

Last year, Emirates’ president Tim Clark directly addressed Al Baker’s dream for a merger with the two airlines and said it was unlikely to happen as it would have “seismic repercussions in the aeropolitical framework.”

“You put the two together and you would face the most formidable international airline group that has ever been formed. That’s why it will never happen,” he was quoted as saying by Aviation Week.

However, at the launch of the Emirates-Qantas alliance he seemed to be softening on the issue.

“We’ll act on any opportunity where we see the partnership adding value. We can look at any partnership where the airlines' chemistry matches similar to the deal signed with Qantas. Anything is possible,” Clark was quoted as saying by Emirates 24/7.

Al Baker said he was interested in an alliance with Emirates because the Dubai carrier “is a very strongly established airline and have the network that would absolutely compliment the network of Qatar Airways.”

"Given Emirates tie-up with Qantas, and Qatar Airways induction into the oneworld alliance, of which Qantas is a key member, you could argue that there are more stars aligning for a potential Emirates-Qatar Airways partnership than not,” Saj Ahmad, chief analyst at StrategicAero Research, told Arabian Business.

“While this is all speculation, that Qatar Airways is talking about it and Emirates is not denying it means there is likely more substance than rumour. The issue is agreeing a timescale to get this moving - and by when a merger could be completed by.

"There is certainly no rush - both Emirates and Qatar Airways are the world's fastest growing full service airlines. They know that whatever move they make, rivals will be shuddering with fear," he added.

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Posted by: Peter

- DOH Airport is small but the egates work and you can go in and out within few minutes (except the long bus rides from the terminal to the aircraft). Dubai Airport is stressful and highly unpleasant. Starting from the casino lights flashing at the entrance, hurting your eyes if you don?t close them, the rude and abusive police at the emigration area, egates don?t work, the duty free area is an insane busy nightmare hub of millions of tired and mad people.
- DOH Airport has taxis waiting; Dubai has 100?s of passengers waiting for a taxi and security guard being rude and treating people like disrespectfully to vent their power trips (it happened last night).

Posted by: PKK

DOHA airport consists of a separate arrival terminal, but then a separate departure building for qatar airways, another departure building for other carriers and another building for business/first class qatar airways. I do not know any airport with this interesting configuration. After you find out where you need to be, then it starts ( I checked in online), at the terminal, nobody was present at the drop-off desks, nobody was available at the premium card desks, yes one long queue at the economy terminal. Qatari ladies with their porter jumping the queue.... Then after waiting 30 minutes at the passport check, then a free sight seeing tour round the terminal that takes 15 minutes to reach the aircraft. On my return trip, yes there was a taxi at Doha Airport, but the driver had no clue where to go and only put on the meter after I asked him to

Posted by: Peter

QA is micromanaged by a guy who things he can personally control the life of every single individual who works for the airline. In spite of that, I personally think that their service on board is generally better than Emirates:
- QA food is close to real food, Emirates? is precast, pre-packed;
- QA offers a menu with more than one choice, Emirates throes at you whatever they have, without bothering to ask and inform you (it happened to me last night on a Emirates flight);
- QA crew are generally polite and professional, Emirates? depends on their personality and mood, some unprepared for the job (it happened last night on the Emirates flight, when asked for a glass of water, the answer was ?wait, later?, it never came. When I complained to the Cabin Senior, again he wasn?t trained to handle the complaint, all he said, thank you for you feedback ;

Posted by: Quantum Mechanics

What's the fuss is all about? We all worked diligently here and we have been fully paid for it in good faith. Nobody owes anyone anything. It's all business, and not a favor at all.

And I love Qatar for the serenity of the place and its people.

Posted by: Fatima Ahmed

@Qatari-Qatar should be proud of its world class education. After all, no Qatari private company wants to hire Qataris not even Qatar Airways where less than 2% of the work force consists of Qataris (Source: Qatar Statistics Authority). The reason is because of the work ethic of the Qataris as they are very dedicated and loyal to their iphones and blackberries. Qatar was forced to raise the salary of its public servants (the occupation of most Qataris as they aren't competent) simply because of the fear of the Arab Spring. I hope Qatar makes these kind of achievements which of course makes us proud as Qatar gears towards the Stone Age. Don't underestimate our knowledge our your country, we all know that by 1995, Qatar was in debt or virtually bankrupt.

Posted by: Mohamed

well in that case " IF YOU CAN'T BEAT THEM, JOIN THEM "

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