07/02/2014 09:23 AST

Qatar Airways CEO Akbar al-Baker has termed as “unfair” the stand taken by some European carriers against Gulf airlines and affirmed his airline does not receive any “government subsidy”.

Recently, Germany’s largest airline Lufthansa called on European regulators to block plans by Abu Dhabi’s state-owned Etihad Airways to invest in ailing Italian carrier Alitalia, saying it would amount to unfair competition. Lufthansa has fiercely lobbied against Gulf airlines such as Etihad, Emirates, and Qatar Airways, and their fast-paced expansion in Europe and said in the past they benefit from “unfair” state aid.

Lufthansa said Europe would do better to keep its airline industry mostly privatised, Reuters reported.

Al-Baker said, “It is not true that we are subsidised. The fact of the matter is that the highest fuel price we pay as an airline is in Qatar. We are fighting for cheaper fuel price … so that we can expand and that other airlines that operate to and from Doha can benefit.”

Al-Baker told Gulf Times yesterday that they (European carriers) were forgetting the fact they were all subsidised some two decades ago.

“Just two decades ago they were all state-owned … were nearly bankrupt…their governments were bailing them out. Still there are many airlines in the world that are state-owned and receiving subsidies. Why no one is talking about them. Is it because they are all from big countries? Are they afraid of talking about them? Just because we are Gulf carriers … and are small countries … they want to criticise us. I think this is unfair,” al-Baker pointed out.

Asked whether the rapid growth of the Big Three Gulf carriers were rattling the European airlines, al-Baker said; “You must understand they are also growing in the phase of our growth. So what then is the problem?”


Gulf Times

Ticker Price Volume
QNBK 159.00 144,076
SABIC 129.60 5,192,197
SRMG 106.00 898,130
APPC 56.30 191,440
EEC 19.96 1,817,656
SARCO 44.20 333,418
KAYAN 16.94 8,892,500
Affordable housing stimulates Riyadh’s real estate market

19/07/2018

Although market conditions in Riyadh remain relatively unchanged this quarter, the governments’ continued focus on providing more affordable housing to drive home ownership amongst Saudi nationals wi

Saudi Gazette

UAE clarifies rules on payment of VAT on commercial real estate

19/07/2018

The 5 per cent VAT on commercial real estate must be paid prior to the completion of an asset sale, not afterwards, the UAE’s Federal Tax Authority (FTA) said on Wednesday.

In a statement

The National

PEIE highlights investment opportunities

19/07/2018

A delegation of Indian businessmen visited the Public Establishment for Industrial Estates (PEIE) on Wednesday in a bid to familiarise themselves with the investment climate in the Sultanate.

Times of Oman

Bahrain bond rally fizzles out as Gulf bailout remains elusive

19/07/2018

Bondholders’ relief over a Gulf pledge to prop up Bahrain’s struggling economy has given way to anxiety now that three weeks have passed without any sign aid is on the way.

Saudi Arabia, Ku

Gulf News

Dubai banks continue to deliver strong results

19/07/2018

Leading Dubai based banks, Emirates NBD, Emirates Islamic, Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) and Mashreq reported strong growth in first half net profits supported by gains in core banking revenues.

Gulf News