Qatar Airways Airbus A330 (Photo: Konstantin Nikiforov/ Wikimedia, 01-12-2013). - Source: Qatar Airways Airbus A330 (Photo: Konstantin Nikiforov/ Wikimedia, 01-12-2013). at
Wednesday, May 27, 2015 - 17:35
Qatar Airways: No retaliation for Dutch restrictions, but trade is
The government of Qatar will not immediately retaliate for Dutch restrictions on flights by airlines from the Gulf States, the CEO of Qatar Airways Akbar Al Baker said. He reminded that trade is a "two-lane road", and said if the airlines does not get additional flights, Dutch companies "should not expect many commercial contracts" from Qatar government. The CEO mentioned that the Dutch state is interfering with the "private trade economy". He said that he understood the motives which led politicians to act. "Governments must do what is in the best interest of their country," said Al Baker. He suggested the example of France where the airline received landing rights in spite of protests from Air France. Opponents of Gulf State airline expansions point to state subsidies and tax exemptions which those companies would enjoy. Al Baker objected strongly to those arguments. "We receive no subsidies," he commented. "We also do not pay taxes, but neither does KLM to the state of Qatar." In spite of the tensions, Al Baker positively commented on its competitor. "KLM is our example. Just like KLM, we now abolish first class to upgrade or business class." The CEO added that Qatar Airlines would like to cooperate with the Dutch counterpart in Schiphol by operating joint flights.