Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > British Airways | Executive Club
Reload this Page >

Akbar Al Baker: “Marks out of ten for British Airways? Two.”

Akbar Al Baker: “Marks out of ten for British Airways? Two.”

Old Apr 17, 21, 2:44 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: London, UK
Programs: BAEC
Posts: 2,676
Akbar Al Baker: “Marks out of ten for British Airways? Two.”

There was an article in The Times this evening of an interview with QR’s CEO, Akbar Al Baker. He accuses BA of losing focus, but praised Sean Doyle as a good replacement CEO.

Unfortunately it is behind a paywall, but I’m sure some users here can pick out the key points. Here’s the interview summary below:

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/a...ocus-2b7xhc2vq

In the course of just 45 minutes from his boardroom in Doha, he dismisses British Airways as a “two out of ten” carrier; accuses Dubai of becoming a Covid-19 superspreader and lambasts arch-rival Emirates as a gas-guzzling dinosaur; says any airline that offers premium economy is ripping off its customers; and demands $5 billion (£3.6 billion) in compensation from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt for their “illegal” economic blockade of his country, which ended in January.
SFO777 and haroon145 like this.
BAeuro is offline  
Old Apr 17, 21, 3:07 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: HKG, BHX, MAN
Programs: Qatar Gold (OWS), Asiana Diamond (*G)
Posts: 832
He's known for his controversial comments, but he gets his job done.

However, it's interesting as Qatar Airways is a minority stakeholder (25.1%) of IAG.
justin_krusty, SFO777 and SKRan like this.
realgaga is offline  
Old Apr 17, 21, 4:14 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: MCR
Programs: British Airways Gold, Hilton/Marriott - Gold
Posts: 1,056
He's right, not great airline. But very profitable, hence him owning 25%
SxMan likes this.
PGberkshire is offline  
Old Apr 17, 21, 6:01 pm
  #4  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Argentina
Programs: BAEC/IB
Posts: 38,434
He's had it too easy if you ask me.
HIDDY is offline  
Old Apr 17, 21, 7:58 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Programs: TK M&S Elite Plus, QRPC Platinum, BAEC Gold, PC Bolbol, All Silver, HH Silver, Bonvoy, BW Rewards
Posts: 9,713
Totally a right assumption if we compare QR with BA.
If QR is 10/10, the maximum that BA could get would be 5/10 in terms of onboard experience.

However, it's still true that BA's non-airport related experience ( FFP, customer care, baggage delays, etc... ) are much better than QR.
ISTFlyer is online now  
Old Apr 17, 21, 8:06 pm
  #6  
was FlyEndeavourAir
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Programs: Non-Rev, SkyMiles, AAdvantage, Rapid Rewards, Global Entry
Posts: 1,303
Has BA gone back to serving hot meals in Business/First, or are they still using COVID as an excuse? If it's the latter than I don't blame him for his comments.
SxMan likes this.
FlyDeltaMD88 is offline  
Old Apr 17, 21, 8:11 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Programs: TK M&S Elite Plus, QRPC Platinum, BAEC Gold, PC Bolbol, All Silver, HH Silver, Bonvoy, BW Rewards
Posts: 9,713
Originally Posted by FlyEndeavorAir View Post
Has BA gone back to serving hot meals in Business/First, or are they still using COVID as an excuse? If it's the latter than I don't blame him for his comments.
BA restored their pre-COVID service in mid-January.
FlyDeltaMD88 likes this.
ISTFlyer is online now  
Old Apr 17, 21, 8:24 pm
  #8  
was FlyEndeavourAir
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
Programs: Non-Rev, SkyMiles, AAdvantage, Rapid Rewards, Global Entry
Posts: 1,303
Originally Posted by ISTFlyer View Post
BA restored their pre-COVID service in mid-January.
Good to know!
FlyDeltaMD88 is offline  
Old Apr 17, 21, 11:05 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 3,746
Frankly, considering his airline's financial "successes", the man's shocking attitude to safety and the bullying antics of one of his key underlings I'd say... who gives a toss.
13901 is offline  
Old Apr 17, 21, 11:29 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Posts: 702
Originally Posted by ISTFlyer View Post
BA restored their pre-COVID service in mid-January.
J service is slimmed down and thus the gap between BA and QR is even wider!
scoonee and SxMan like this.
KSVVZ2015 is offline  
Old Apr 18, 21, 1:41 am
  #11  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: London, UK
Programs: BA Gold, IHG Spire Ambassador
Posts: 14,777
Originally Posted by KSVVZ2015 View Post
J service is slimmed down and thus the gap between BA and QR is even wider!
QR’s J service has also been slimmed down - and at least BA haven’t started charging for lounge access for J pax.
Genius1 is offline  
Old Apr 18, 21, 1:52 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: London
Programs: BAEC, EK Skywards, WY Sindbad, Marriott 'Bonvoy' :/, IHG Rewards, Hilton Honors, Golden Circle
Posts: 3,445
I have to say I find the fact Mr. Al Baker can’t do a single interview without trash-talking Emirates hilarious. The chip on his shoulder is bigger than he is these days.
lost_in_translation is offline  
Old Apr 18, 21, 2:00 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 3,746
Originally Posted by lost_in_translation View Post
I have to say I find the fact Mr. Al Baker can’t do a single interview without trash-talking Emirates hilarious. The chip on his shoulder is bigger than he is these days.
Freud would have a lot to say, starting perhaps that, unlike his airline, EK kind of makes money...

Al Baker is just a bully. And not a good CEO at that.
13901 is offline  
Old Apr 18, 21, 2:09 am
  #14  
Moderator: British Airways Executive Club, Iberia Airlines, Airport Lounges and Carbon Conscious Travel
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: London, UK
Posts: 20,753
As I am not a subscriber to the Sunday Times, I didn't read the full article but did read snippets of it yesterday over on the Paddle Your Own Kanoo blog.

'he [AAB] hopes British Airways will now “get the glitter back” under new boss Sean Doyle. But he dismissed the suggestion that BA would ever regain the title of ‘world’s favourite airline’ because that accolade now belonged to Qatar Airways.'

'Al Baker is slightly more optimistic about BA’s future now that Doyle is in charge: “He’s a very good leader. He has my confidence … British Airways will come back to its old glory,” he said of Doyle.'

'"Al Baker called out BA’s former CEO and his management team for removing free food and drink on short-haul flights. “We wanted an airline that doesn’t sell food but serves food,”'

'BA’s management team had “lost focus” according to Al Baker. The airline had been reduced “to a low-cost carrier — a level I never expected BA to be,” he continued.'

His comments about the loss of focus do resonate with me. IMHO, BA's short haul product had been stripped bare - with the introduction of transactional inflight service in Euro Traveller, and the mismatch of Pinnacle and Recaro SL3510 seats on board the Neos.

His comments about Premium Economy do seem a bit left field to me. I suspect this is mainly a defensive narrative aimed more at Emirates and the Dubai based carrier's recent announcement about its introduction of PE. World Traveller Plus is said to be a good performer for BA, which would explain BA's actions over the past three years where the cabin capacity has been increased, with the seat count more than doubled on 777 refits.
rockflyertalk likes this.
Prospero is offline  
Old Apr 18, 21, 2:38 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Programs: BAEC Gold
Posts: 990
2 out of 10 for BA still puts them ahead of QR customer services.
Agent69 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: