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3 AUGUST 2020


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Article from BTNews 3 AUGUST 2020

Al Baker speaks out

Speaking on the latest Aviation Week Network webinar, Qatar Airways CEO His Excellency Akbar Al Baker says full-service carriers will prevail in the Gulf region.

Qatar Airways chief is adamant that low-cost airlines are not for his part of the world.

In his usual forthright manner he dismissed the mounting low-cost competition in the Gulf, claiming that low-cost carriers (LCC) do not have a future in the region. 

Al Baker said passengers are used to high-quality rather than no frills options, adding that LCCs are more successful when they have a large home market.

“Low-cost carriers are good for certain big catchment areas and we don’t have that. We rely on Fifth and Sixth Freedom traffic. Low-cost is conducive to having a large domestic network; we don’t have that.”

Al Baker alleged that the decision by Emirates Airline and Etihad Airways to forge ties with low-cost operators shows “they are in trouble.” 

Qatar Airways expects to be operating 450 weekly flights to more than 70 destinations going into August. Weekly capacity will be about 340,000 seats, equivalent to approximately 35% of that offered during the same week a year ago.

Al Baker said that demand would take between three to five years to return to 2019 levels. However, he asserted that the industry will recover from the shock of coronavirus.

Watch the full webinar here – 21 July

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