Qatar Airways CEO threatens to halt Airbus orders if slots denied

Akbar Al Baker voices concern over European airport slots which could halt purchase of region's aircraft

Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker.

Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker.

Qatar Airways could reconsider ordering Airbus aircraft if it could not obtain landing rights - or slots - at European airports, chief executive Akbar Al Baker told a German newspaper in an interview.

"If they (European airport slots) are limited further, we will stop buying European aircraft. We have 186 orders at Airbus. What impact would that have on German jobs?" the Handelsblatt daily quoted Al Baker as saying in its Tuesday edition.

Fast-growing Middle East airlines such as Qatar and Emirates have said that European governments were seeking to restrict fair competition by giving airlines based closer to home preference when awarding airport slots.

Emirates has sought for years to obtain permission to fly to Berlin and Stuttgart in Germany, and Al Baker told Handelsblatt that he had been approached by representatives of airports in Hamburg and Dusseldorf asking for Qatar to add routes there.

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Posted by: Bud

Its Qatar Airways again... Qatar airlines has become a no-fly zone for me. I am very concerned about the constant outbursts of very unprofessional messages from this CEO. I am concerned because, the inside of the company's culture normally reflects the culture the CEO executes. Can't be good....

Posted by: AT1

Small (I mean really "small") fish in a big pond.
He's fast becoming persona non grata, maybe AIRBUS should cancel his orders, cut a 20% commission deal (on top of their price list) with BOEING, that should keep him quit.
RYANAIR was thrown out of AIRBUS for thinking too much of themselves now BOEING is their sole supplier with all the implication that entails.

Posted by: Anna

Very childish comment. European airspace is very full and at many airports it takes time to circle for a bit before landing.
On top of that, Europe has many low-cost airlines for inter-European travels which are cheap and need to run on time and budget. Who says we want to pay high fares to travel Qatar Airways to get to Europe?
Etihad was smart to partner with AirBerlin, KLM and other European airlines that have established hubs in Europe.
This is not the first time that this CEO shows an arrogant and disrespectful attitude to those that are reliant on him.

Posted by: Ronald

I stopped flying Qatar because all I ever read is about this dude complaining and demanding something not his due, as manager of an airline from a tiny, irrelevant country.

Posted by: Jimmy Kinsey

The Europeans are being childish. Grant Qatar landing rights and up hold free competition. They are scared because the middle eastern carriers with destroy their cattle class, sterile national carriers. I travel monthly and European carriers are operating a bus service and not an airline.

Posted by: Chalky6766

jimmy Kinsey- Your comments are ridiculous, I have flown many ME carriers and unless your in Business or First the service is extremely average not to mention over seating especially in the 777. It's a simple case of not being bullied by an airline that thinks it's above everyone else because it's purchased planes. Europe is simply protecting it's business interests the same way Qatar would if everyone wanted to fly their...which they don't funnily enough.

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