Qatar Airways boss denies 'subsidy' claims (The Express Tribune (Pakistan))

The chief of Qatar Airways on Monday denied his company receives subsidies and accused rivals Delta Air Lines of flying “crap” older planes, escalating hostilities between Gulf and American carriers.
Speaking at an arts conference in Doha, Akbar al-Baker said any money his airline receives from the state is in the form of “legitimate” equity and added his company’s fleet of aircraft were much cleaner for the environment in comparison to Delta.
“I think Anderson (CEO of Delta, Richard Anderson) doesn’t know the difference between equity and subsidy. We never receive any subsidy,” Baker said.
“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.
“The unfortunate thing is that because they are so inefficient they want to blame us whilst we are very efficient for their failures and drawbacks.
“The issue is that they cannot stand the progress the Gulf carriers are making.”
aker was responding to claims made earlier this month by three US airlines , Delta, American and United, that Qatar, along with Etihad Airways and Emirates, received $42 billion in “unfair” subsidies to wrest business away from competitors.
The US carriers issued a 55-page report claiming this has allowed the Gulf airlines to wrest market share from the American airlines.
These “multi-billion dollar subsidies” had distorted the marketplace, “to the severe detriment of US employment,” the American carriers claimed.
They called on Washington to raise the issue with the UAE and Qatari governments and urged changes to bilateral commercial aviation agreements with them.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 17th, 2015.
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