Qatar Airlines is seeking to double the number of its flights into Australia to 21 per week. But, in reply to a government request for feedback on the Qatar’s application, Qantas claimed that granting Qatar’s wishes would be unfair and could result in Australians losing their jobs.
Qatar Airlines CEO Akbar Al Baker was having none of it.
“Why we are being stifled getting additional rights into Australia?”
“The largest operator in Australia has cut its flight to 50% of pre-Covid level, more than doubling the price of the fares to the Australian people, in the benefit of the shareholders…in addition, getting billions of dollars of state aid during the pandemic period in 2020 and 2021,” he told Sky News Business Weekend.
”And at the same time even their large international partner has also cut their flights to only 50% to pre-Covid level while we are offering an alternative to the Australian people who we always like to serve.”
According to Al Baker, Australian authorities have knocked back previous applications “for a long time”. This time he hopes that the “government realises the commitment of Qatar airlines at difficult times”, the Australian reported.
“We connected Australian people to the world during the most difficult period in aviation history,” Al Baker 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,” he said.
“We made sure at huge losses we continued serving the Australian people and the Australian trade during this difficult period.”
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