Qatar Airways’ CEO, Akbar Al Baker, is no stranger to ridiculous soundbites. If there were an airline CEO worthy of a reality TV show, it would no doubt be His Excellency.
I mean, I think this clip from last year’s Farnborough Air Show perfectly sums up what you can expect from him:
But via Flightglobal, I think this might just be one of his best quotes yet, from ITB Berlin, which took place this week:
Qatar Airways is today taking delivery of its second Airbus A350, which – like the first – will be used to operate Doha-Frankfurt flights.
The new jet will be deployed on this route to “rub salt in the wound” of Lufthansa, said the Gulf carrier’s chief executive Akbar Al Baker at the ITB travel trade show in Berlin today.
After having read this soundbite sized article I still have no idea what you're talking about. You seem to be really hung up monitoring everything this guy has to say without explaining why anyone else would care.
Rather than join the reality television groupie brigade I'd be curious to hear you take on this story...
I'm in Bangkok and I happen to be watching CNN. Richard Quest's Business Traveller show was on and saw you being interviewed by him on the inaugural A350 flight from Doha to Frankfurt. Just thought I'd share...
@ John -- Hah, thanks!
Well, I would suggest this gentleman to do a nightflight BC on one of his A330's. While the 777 and 380 are very comfortable, the 330 is surely not because of a major designflaw in the seats. While OK for lounging, going from that position to angled 'flat', the footrest is actually going DOWN, while the upper part of the seat is going down as well and the midsection of the seat goes UP. While...
Well, I would suggest this gentleman to do a nightflight BC on one of his A330's. While the 777 and 380 are very comfortable, the 330 is surely not because of a major designflaw in the seats. While OK for lounging, going from that position to angled 'flat', the footrest is actually going DOWN, while the upper part of the seat is going down as well and the midsection of the seat goes UP. While the then resulting position may be relevant for those intending to make a porn movie, nobody sleeps in such an awkward position, and thus sleep is impossible. For this kind of bright designs I always think the first step to a solution is stripping in those who designed and selected the seat for a healthy 8 to 10 hours.
In a conversation in Berlin during ITB, HE mentioned end of April as the opening date for the Al-Safwa Lounge. Nothing less, nothing more.
@ILDC - they called it Al-Safwa? That's Arabic for something like "the top 0.5%" or the "crème de la crème". very classy!
Give the guy a 7 for brutal honesty. As Qatar receives their 80 A350's, many airlines will feel the squeeze in profit margins. All those carriers that bought cargo limited A380's may feel foolish competing against a much more efficient model. Buyer's remorse more likely than salted wounds.
So why did Qatar Airways refuse the A380s? Anyone know?
@ Tim -- They apparently weren't happy with some aspects of the interior.
Heard news that the QR F "Al-Safwa" Lounge is open in Doha, announced by Al-Baker himself. Do you have any further info on that by chance?
@ ILDC -- Will have a post about this shortly, but as noted by Roger above, it will only open in late-April.