By Ahmad Lala
Akbar Al Baker says new $15bn Hamad International will continue to grow regardless of any FIFA re-vote
Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker distanced himself from the ongoing World Cup 2022 bribe allegations, adding that the success of the country’s recently launched $15bn airport was not dependent on Qatar hosting the football tournament.
Speaking at the International Air Transport Association’s AGM in Doha, Al Baker told journalists to direct all World Cup related questions to the correct authorities, but added that the airport was built to boost Qatar’s aviation industry not as a sole World Cup 2022 facility.
“The construction of the local airport was started before the World Cup bid. It is part of a strategy to build an aviation hub in my country and this is exactly what we will be doing, regardless. We will continue to grow, and continue as an airline to prosper,” said Al Baker.
This week the UK’s The Sunday Times newspaper claimed that Qatar had used a fund of $5m to bribe FIFA officials to win the World Cup 2022.