Qatar Airways CEO calls on India to rethink aviation policies

Akbar Al Baker urges new Indian gov't to consider rethink to bring 'prosperity' to its people

Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker has called on the new Indian government to rethink the country’s aviation policies to bring “prosperity” to the Indian people.

The airline is seeking to increase its seat capacity to India and is also chasing an investment opportunity in Indian carrier Indigo.

“I have always said that India is a great country, a sleeping economic giant, and there are opportunities and capabilities in India that others don’t have, but unfortunately the previous administration in India did not make the maximum use of the available potential,” said Al Baker.

“For the aviation industry in India, the potential is so huge that even if you allotted capacity to every airline that is requesting it, you will still have load factors in excess of 80 percent.

“So I will urge the government of prime minister [Narendra] Modi to look at aviation as a very important tool of generating economic growth, because it is aviation that will bring you trade and tourism that will in turn bring more employment, and bring prosperity to the Indian people.”

Join the Discussion

Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

NOTE: Comments posted on may be printed in the magazine Arabian Business

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

Posted by: Zahid

I also agree with all previous comments. Same passenger traveling on a European route will be treated differently than on a sub-continent route. Whereas the flights are full going to subcontinent and fares are comparatively higher.

Posted by: Ahmed

that absolutely right mr. zahid, if passenger on European routes get bad treatment, GCC airlines fear of getting customer court sues, where as in Asian subcontinents, what is court?, so these airlines don't bother to cater well, and asians have "tolerance" to each mistreat rather than fight back.

Posted by: George K

Respect should always be earned. If people want to be treated with respect, they ought to respect themselves on land and in the air which i as a frequent traveler have not witnessed on some Asian routes like Pakistan where many travelers tend to be unruly and recalcitrant.

Posted by: AlexTT

Dear George K,
I'm glad you are enjoying your experience(economy or business?) with Qatar Airways, I on the other hand I'm more inclined to agree Mr. Kunal's opinion.
I myself fly twice a week in and out of Doha and the actual experience is way below par. Beeing thrown a so call sandwich accompanied by "chicken sandwich??" and the offer of a waterdown orange liquid it is not my idea of a "5* airline".
Only last Thursday flying out of Doha to Dubai, while at their "state of the art" spanking new airpot their First/Business/Platinum/Gold etc counters were maned by two(2) memebrs of staff resulting in everyone moving over to the Economy check inns because it was faster!!!!!!
The lounges display bread that you allowed to eat(display only sir!!!) overall quality give the impression that everything is stale.
Had to board at the further point available (Gate D22) where the lift stairs(new airport!!!) did not work, and take the Bus to the airplane.
Mr. Baker, fix your bacfkyard first.

Posted by: Kaif

I support Kunal's comment. I would add that this applies not only to India but the entire South Asian region as GCC airlines treat these routes and passengers flying on them differently to the treatment given on routes to the West.
I call this subtle racism.

Posted by: mumeen

I call this blatant express racism all over the GCC. Thank you all for your valid remarks.

Posted by: Mudassir

Kunal...... I am an Aviation Professional and strongly agree with you......

Posted by: Kunal

Dear Sir,

I am a customer of your airlines and fly multiple routes within the GCC region, as well as to cities in India and Europe.

I can tell that there is a stark difference between flights to Europe and to the sub-continent, in terms of aircraft provided (a full A320 vs. three quarters empty A340) and the service level of staff on board.

So on one hand you ask for more seats / landing rights and on the other hand we are treated as dirt.

Therefore I for one would hope that the new government will develop a backbone and restrict new landing rights to QR and EQ. This I hope would spur the entry of other airlines that will at least treat us like fare paying passengers.

I hope you take this as constructive criticism and rectify the situation.


Posted by: Saneesh Kumar

Very well said Mr. Kunal!

This is the case with most of the middle east operated airlines. Even though they generate most of their revenues from Indian routes, they don't acknowledge it.

At least treat us well, what we pay is also money!

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Further reading

Features & Analysis
The cost of the US laptop ban

The cost of the US laptop ban

Aviation analysts and airline bosses are warning of significant...

Q&A: The laptop ban and what it means when flying from Dubai and Abu Dhabi

Q&A: The laptop ban and what it means when flying from Dubai and Abu Dhabi

Couldn't a laptop with a bomb inside still pose a danger within...

After all the hype, what's the future for Hyperloop One

After all the hype, what's the future for Hyperloop One

Los Angeles-based Hyperloop One may have struck a deal this month...

Most Discussed