Last updated: 04:35 PM ET, Wed March 18 2015

Qatar Airways CEO Takes Verbal Shot at Delta Air Lines CEO

Airlines & Airports | Delta Air Lines | Donald Wood | March 18, 2015

Qatar Airways CEO Takes Verbal Shot at Delta Air Lines CEO

The verbal sparring match between United States and Gulf state airlines was amplified on Monday when Qatar Airways CEO Akbar al-Baker chastised rival Delta Air Lines for using older and outdated aircrafts.

According to the Agence France-Presse, al-Baker spoke at an arts conference in Doha, Qatar, about the accusations that Gulf state airlines receive subsidies from the government. On top of adamantly claiming that his company only receives legitimate equity, he also managed to take several shots at Delta and the company’s CEO Richard Anderson.

“I am delighted that Richard Anderson of Delta is not here. First of all, we don't fly crap airplanes that are 35 years old. The Qatar Airways average fleet (age) is only four years and one month,” said al-Baker. “We have ultra-modern airplanes. We have invested, my country has invested, huge amounts to make sure we are the lowest CO2 contributor in the aviation industry.”

The comments from al-Baker stem from recent accusations by American companies against Qatar, Etihad Airways and Emirates claiming that the brands have received $42 billion in subsidies since 2004 from the government, creating an unfair balance in the marketplace.

Delta, American and United airlines joined together to issue a 55-page report that was sent to Washington D.C. claiming that the advantage the Gulf state airlines have gained is having a detrimental effect on U.S. employment.

While Qatar Airways and the other companies accused have remained adamant that they have done nothing wrong, transport ministers from France and Germany have also asked the European Commission to investigate the same accusations.


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