Qatar Airways CEO Akbar al-Baker is perhaps the most colorful man in aviation with a bit of a history of a truth problem. He makes bold and brash claims, he’s a salesman, and only once in awhile those claims wind up backed up by reality such as his airline’s new business class which is the best in the world.
Sometimes he’s his own worst enemy, such as when he declared Qatar would launch Atlanta service “for spite.” (Rival Delta, which blamed his airline for 9/11, can be equally spiteful and even more petty.)
He’s declared that Delta flies ‘crap airplanes’ (Delta certainly has a much older fleet than… most) and that his airline’s critics “are just sitting and smelling glue.”
Qatar Airways A380 Business Class Bar
Now speaking at an event to celebrate new Dublin – Doha service Akbar al-Baker was videotaped declaring “there is no need for you to travel on these crap American carriers” although what’s strange about that remark is that no one is going to fly Dublin – Doha – U.S. So it was really just a dig at the U.S. airlines unrelated to this new route.
He also declared that since the average age of flight attendants ‘is 26’ his airline compares favorably to U.S. airlines where “you will always be served by grandmothers.”
That won’t help him get the required approval of the American Airlines board to go above 4.75% ownership of the U.S. airline’s stock — especially since the focus of American’s management seems to be placating its employees (although they’ll have to spend a lot of money papering any decision to turn down the request, perhaps focusing on clawback of tax loss carry forwards, since it would also harm shareholders).
Watch Akbar al-Baker Get ‘Colorful’ Here:
He’s just feeding into the false narrative Delta offers whenever he opens his mouth.