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19 APRIL 2021

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Article from BTNews 19 APRIL 2021

BA Two out of ten

British Airways gets two out of ten according to Qatar Airways’ Akbar Al Baker.

But that was under the old regime.  

Akbar al Baker, chief executive of the Doha-based airline, is much more enthusiastic regarding Sean Doyle and the new team. ”He’s a very good leader.  He has my confidence.  British Airways will come back to its old glory.”  

In an enthralling interview conducted via Zoom the engaging Al Baker was as controversial as ever with a dig at arch enemy Sir Tim Clark, a near neighbour at Emirates, and his huge fleet of 122 Airbus A380s.  Soon Qatar Airways will only have five, presumably retained for the ‘blue ribbon’ Doha – Heathrow route.

One initiative that Doyle has introduced is vaccine passports. Al Baker thinks BA is getting ahead in that area. He is doing the same, testing the new International Air Transport Association (IATA)’vax app’ on flights between Doha and Istanbul. Passengers upload their vaccine status and PCR test results and can, if regulations allow, avoid quarantine. “Coronavirus is going to be a fact of life. We’ll have to live with it,” he said.

Premium Economy is not for Qatar Airways.  “It’s the most uncomfortable seat. You can’t rest your feet on the floor. And they give you the same meal, the same bottle of wine, or whatever they give in Economy.”  

Qatar Airways owns 25% of IAG, British Airways’ parent company.

The Sunday Times 18 April 2021.

Also see AND FINALLY in this week's BTN.

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OUR READERS' FINEST WORDS (All times and dates are GMT)

All comments are filtered to exclude any excesses but the Editor does not have to agree with what is being said. 100 words maximum


Evelyn Johnston, Highland

Valid comment on Premium Economy - waste of money for us vertically challanged folk - not getting feet on the floor a nightmare.


Sally Smith, Reading

I wish I could agree with Al Baker. No improvements so far with BA on its very limited flights. I wait to fly as regularly as previously before making judgement.


David Cohen, London

Up until last year I regularly transited Doha and its fine new airport. Great airline Qatar and an outspoken boss.


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