Monday, November 29, 2010

Qatar CEO Severely Reprimands Air France

Qatar, along with other Gulf-based airlines is in a mad race to develop the Gulf as a major airline hub. This necessitates a high number of planes for these airliners at a brisk pace. However, friction with traditional European players has become a dampener. Media sources revealed that Mr Akbar Al Baker, the Qatar boss, came down heavily upon Air France for not cooperating to resolve the issue. He was quoted as saying ‘The hand of friendship extended to Air France has not been reciprocated and this is not conducive to relations between our countries’. Other comments included ‘People have to change their perception of Arab carriers. We have to make money. Our governments have made it clear we have to stand on own feet or shrink’ and ‘We don't have an oil well behind our headquarters to fuel our growth’.

What the Tussle is all about

European carriers are apprehensive that if there is a rise in the number of Gulf based fleets, they will lose out on their share of the pie. The scenario can prove beneficial for customers as there are chances that such a development would increase cheap flight options. However, European and the US carriers have stated that the credit rules are unfair. The credit rules allow sanctioning of export loans for Gulf-based airliners if they buy planes from Airbus or Boeing. However, if some airline is based in the country, where Airbus and Boeing are manufactured, it is not eligible for the export loan.

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