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Head of Qatar Airways Calls Out Delta CEO, Accuses Airline of Flying “Crap” Planes

As the Open Skies war of words continues, Qatar Airways CEO is accusing Delta of flying “crap airplanes that are 35 years old.”

The mud-slinging continues between the U.S. legacy carriers and the “Middle East Three”. AFP reports outspoken Qatar Airways CEO Akbar al-Baker used his time in front of a microphone on Monday to continue the dialogue on the Open Skies debate, taking verbal jabs at Delta Air Lines and its CEO, Richard Anderson.

“I am delighted that Richard Anderson of Delta is not here,” al-Baker told attendees at an arts conference in Doha, Qatar. “First of all, we don’t fly crap airplanes that are 35 years old … [we] have invested, my country has invested, huge amounts to make sure we are the lowest CO2 contributor in the aviation industry.”

The comments serve as the latest chapter in the drawn-out discussion that has surrounded the Open Skies agreements. Earlier this month, the three U.S. legacies — Delta Air Lines, American Airlines and United Airlines — released a 55-page report they submitted to the White House. In the report, the legacy carriers claim the three gulf carriers — Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways — have received $42 billion in illegal subsidies from their respective governments.

America is no longer alone in investigating the claims raised by the legacy carriers. Reuters reports that, due to pressure from France and Germany, the transport ministers of the European Union will take up the issue on Friday.

Officials from all sides of the Arabian Peninsula continue to deny allegations that their airlines are receiving any sort of subsidies. According to AFP, UAE Economy Minister Sultan al-Mansouri told an Arabian-language newspaper that the legacies’ allegations were “false and unacceptable.”

Meanwhile, al-Baker continues to defend his airline from the accusations, stating during Monday’s conference: “The state of Qatar is the owner of Qatar Airways and whatever funds are put into the airline is as equity, which is quite legitimate.”

[Photo: AFP/Christoph Schmidt]

Comments are Closed.
notsosmart March 18, 2015

He does have a point. DL flies A LOT of crap airplanes.

tabbule March 18, 2015

Props chimarraomate. I agree on what you say. Mr Al-Baker presents his point of view and in favour of his company which is understandable however I don't like such language as "crap airplanes " or "bullshit" which he used in a different interview. US flag carriers have right to claim that Gulf 3 are subsidized which is also the truth for many businesses all around the US and the planet. Probably they would also like to be subsidized by US govt knowing that they cannot prevent OALs externally from public financing :) Regarding the news topic - QR has got really truly one of the newest fleet in general. However some of the A320s operated are quite old and not in the top-notch form. I will have to look into the Delta fleet then...

bigbuy March 18, 2015

@Chimarramate,,,,,so you forgot about the billion or so dollars the USA taxpayers gave the US airlines 14 years ago? If you really want fair competition, then the first order of business would be to get rid of cabotage law in the USA.

ChimarraoMate March 18, 2015

It's not fair competition, just like Opec is thorn in the worlds foot. According to his logic, since the State owns the airline, any money the state puts into it is equity. What a bunch of hogwash. That is the definition of a subsidy! I think there should be a ton of competition, but based on solid business principles. They should not be allowed to play around with our transportation system the way they do with our oil.

Flyer1M March 17, 2015

Have more competition in the market can only improve the service US Carriers are providing