Qatar Airways Head Awarded French Legion of Honor – In Contrived Scheme to Tell Air France to (Expletive Deleted)

I made a minor note of this yesterday as part of the extreme ironies currently in the airline industry but it seemed worth pulling out on its own.

Qatar Airways head Akbar al-Baker has been awarded the French Legion of Honor “for his leadership in the aviation industry and for spearheading Qatar Airways to be a leading global airline” .. and for his service and commitment to France at large.

Even though Air France may hate competition from Qatar, and wants government action to limit competition, Qatar is of course a strong supporter of Airbus.

The long and historic relationship between France and the State of Qatar was noted, particularly as Qatar Airways has been a long-standing supporter of one of France’s great establishments – the aircraft manufacturing giant, Airbus – of which Qatar Airways is the only airline in the world to fly each Airbus aircraft type in its fleet.

(Emphasis mine)

Not included in the article, and purely in the realm of speculation, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there were a ton of contributions to the right people in France, so that al-Baker could pretty much tell Air France to [censored].

Will Akbar al-Baker’s be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom?

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. Are you suggesting there might be corruption and cronyism in French politics? I’m shocked, shocked!

  2. If I had to guess, Akbar al-Baker was selected for the “French Legion of Honor ” in the exact same way Qatar was selected to be World Cup hosts…

  3. Why can’t Qatar do it the Euro-American way? By bullying the world, colonizing and destroying countries and their wealth, and bombing the crap out of them?

  4. With a few well-placed political payoffs (I mean campaign contributions) from Boeing and its unions and “contributions” to others in the US, I’d say al-Baker’s a lock for the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

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