Qatar Airways CEO Akbar al-Baker spoke at a Centre for Aviation event and made some of his most provocative statements yet.
It’s hard to blame him for turning his invective towards Delta, after Delta’s former CEO blamed his airline for 9/11 as part of an over-the-top campaign to limit consumer choices and raise airline prices by keeping Qatar, Etihad, and Emirates out of US markets (the 9/11 comment was especially ironic since Delta itself partners with state-subsidized Saudia).
Qatar Airways First Class Check-in, Doha
That bet, though, forgets that Donald Trump and Akbar al-Baker are friends.
Qatar Airways CEO Akbar al-Baker with Donald and Melania Trump in 1997, via Doha News
Against that backdrop, Qatar’s al-Baker says that:
- Critics of the Gulf carriers (like Delta, American, and United) “are just sitting and smelling glue”
- American and Qatar — both oneworld members — don’t have a joint venture (and indeed American partners closely with Etihad) because “the American Airlines administration has been misled by Delta and I think in the long run they will realize that a partnership with Qatar Airways is a very robust business proposition for them.”
- They’ll be making acquisitions soon but “we will always be with successful people; we are not going to collect crap.”
Qatar Airways Airbus A380 Business Class Bar
Smelling glue would actually explain a lot about SkyMiles…
(HT: Point Me to the Plane)