Qatar Airways CEO Was A Coronavirus Denier

What a difference a few weeks make. Qatar Airways CEO Akbar al-Baker gave an interview where he was skeptical about the seriousness of the novel coronavirus, and annoyed at the inconvenience to aviation. “You don’t block aviation just because there is something in the air but it’s really not a scientific fact” he said.

“During the incubation period, they say that this virus can be transmitted. There is no scientific evidence for that. It is just, you know, a fear factor,” the controversial airline chief said in an interview with Bloomberg.

“For them to do what they did to the Chinese cabin crew … whoever goes to China cannot now go anywhere else in these countries for the next 14 days. They don’t realize the operational impact it would create on an airline,” Baker said.

“What evidence [do] you have that on every single airplane you do not have three or four people with contagious disease sitting next to you?”

Update: Qatar Airways offers the following statement,

Alongside all airlines, Qatar Airways is taking significant steps to combat the COVID-19 virus and ensure the safety and wellbeing of our passengers and employees. Like everyone, we have watched the developments over the five weeks since this interview and the increasing scientific knowledge around COVID-19. We have also supported our friends in China with the delivery of hundreds of tonnes of medical equipment to assist their fight against the virus.

(HT: Paddle Your Own Kanoo)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Good for him, we need more people saying it. Arguably, the greatest ruse ever conceived.

  2. Give yourself an almighty upper-cut Sheikh Mohammed Al Baker el Arab, what a clown this fool is, the sooner they put him out to pasture the better, I feel embarrassed for the country and the Airline and I don’t like either.

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