Qatar Airways sees "manageable" decline in flights to US
25 April, 2017, 03:57 | Author: Jeff Stephens
"We didn't have massive decline like other carriers so we still have robust loads to the United States and we will continue our commitment to our passengers in the United States", Akbar al-Baker said at the Arabian Travel Market Exhibition in Dubai.
Al-Baker and the leaders of other Middle Eastern carriers that fly to the US have denied receiving subsidies. "President Trump is a wise individual and a very good businessman, and I don't think he will buy into bullying by the three American carriers", Baker said.
A pressure group called The Partnership for Open and Fair Skies - which includes American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines - said the planned San Francisco expansion represents "another subsidised route into the United States". The CEO of Qatar Airways added the airline, which now flies to over 12 destinations in the United States, was planning to introduce a new route to Las Vegas possibly from as early as next year.
Speaking at a news conference at the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai on Monday, he said passenger traffic to the USA has dipped slightly over fears by some Muslim passengers that their visas may be rejected upon arrival, but expressed confidence in President Trump. If you would like to discuss another topic, look for a relevant article.
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The announcement comes after Emirates, a rival Persian Gulf air carrier, announced that it was cutting back on USA flights in response to "weakened travel demand" because of the Trump administration's policies.
A route to Las Vegas will be launched in the second quarter of 2018, he said.
The US ban went into effect on 25 March on nine airlines in Turkey, Morocco, Jordan, Egypt, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.
Last week, Emirates unveiled plans to reduce the number of flights to the United States, blaming the USA president's immigration policy for a drop in demand.
Qatar Airways will finalise a long-negotiated agreement to buy 49 per cent of Italy's Meridiana in the coming days, and soon apply with Qatar's sovereign wealth fund to start an Indian airline.
Qatar Airways was named "Best Regional Middle East/Africa Airline" in Money magazine's 2017 "Best in Travel" and was named runner-up for the title of "Best Overall International Airline".
Qatar Airways operate one of the newest fleets in the Middle East with Boeing 777, Boeing 787, Airbus A350 and Airbus A380 amongst their fleet.
In 2016, the airline introduced flights to 14 new destinations and acquired 19 additional aircraft. 777-300 aircraft on the route, which will become its 15th US destination.
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