Qatar Airways takes a brutal dig at Qantas as the Middle Eastern airline tries to double flights to Australia after stepping up for us in ‘difficult times’
- Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker took brutal dig at Qantas over airline spat
- Overseas airline has made bid to double flights to Australia to 21 every week
- Qantas has tried to block the attempt saying it would be unfair to other airlines
Qatar Airways’ CEO has taken a cheeky dig at Qantas after the national carrier opposed the Middle Eastern airline’s bid to double its flights to Australia to 21 a week.
Akbar Al Baker has been pushing for Qatar Airways to add more flights to Australia but his proposal has constantly been blocked by authorities.
Qantas again attempted to stop Qatar Airways in its latest expansion bid by submitting an application to the federal government on Tuesday.
The Qatar Airways CEO (pictured, Akbar Al Baker) has made a dig at Qantas after the national airline opposed its bid to increase the number of flights to Australia to 21 per week
Qantas has attempted to stop Qatar Airways in its latest bid by submitting an application to the federal government on Tuesday (pictured, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce)
Qantas claimed it would be unfair and lead to the loss of more Australian jobs if Qatar Airways was allowed to expand.
But our national carrier’s attempt to stop the airline was met with a swift comeback from Mr Baker where he urged the federal government ‘this time’ to remember ‘the commitment of Qatar Airlines at difficult times’.
He called out Qantas for cutting its number of flights, accusing it of raising ticket prices and only acting in the interest of its shareholders.
‘The largest operator in Australia (Qantas) has cut its flight to 50 per cent of pre-Covid level, more than doubled the price of the fares to the Australian people in the benefit of the shareholders,’ Mr Baker told Sky News on Friday.
‘In addition, getting billions of dollars of state aid during the pandemic period in 20 and 21.
‘And at the same time, even their large international partner has also cut flights to only 50 per cent to pre-Covid levels.’
Mr Baker said Qatar Airways had continued to play an important role during the pandemic.
‘We connected Australian people to the world during the most difficult period in aviation history,’ he said.
‘We continued uninterrupted at the peak of the Covid, serving the three main points in Australia – Sydney, Perth and Melbourne. We also added during the pandemic Brisbane to the network.’
Mr Joyce said the issues plaguing Qantas would likely continue for the next 18 months due to aviation supply chain issues from plane manufacturers.
He explained at an American Chamber of Commerce Australia event in Sydney on October 24 that supply chain woes were still a major concern for aviation presently as the industry worked to recover from Covid.
Mr Joyce says the issues plaguing the airline will likely continue for the next 18 months due to aviation supply chain issues from plane manufacturers (stock image)
Plane manufacturers have been struggling to provide spare parts quickly enough for airlines trying to accommodate more passengers as operations and air flight returns to pre-pandemic levels.
‘Aircraft windshelds are now a worldwide restricted item,’ he said.
‘We used to be able to replace a windshield in 12 hours, maybe 24.
‘It took Jetstar nearly seven days to source last month.’
Mr Joyce admitted the company was just 11 weeks from going broke at the start of the Covid pandemic in March 2020.
Mr Joyce admitted the company was just 11 weeks from going broke at the start of the Covid pandemic in March 2020
However Qatar Airways is also not without its controveries.
The airline is being sued by five Australian women after they were allegedly strip searched at gunpoint at Doha Airport after a baby was found in a bathroom.
Hundreds of women were forcibly removed from aircraft at Doha on October 2, 2020 as officials searched for the mother of a newborn baby in a bathroom at the terminal.
The women were removed by armed guards and many say they were forced to conduct non-consensual gynaecological or intimate physical examinations.
Out of the 18 Australian women involved in the incident, five have now taken their action to the Federal Court after failing to gain compensation from the Qatari government through other channels.
One passenger was forced to undergo a strip search holding her five-month old son, the lawsuit claims. Another, who is elderly and legally blind, was directed out of the aircraft but was not subject to a search.