Qatar: “Aggressive expansion” to continue unabated

CEO also blasts EU for emmissions plan and UK for Heathrow

Akbar Al Baker Emissions Trading Scheme ETS EU Heathrow Qatar Airways UK Aviation Club

Qatar Airways’ aggressive expansion will continue over the coming three years, growing from 119 to more than 170 destinations starting with 15 new destinations in 2013, CEO Akbar Al Baker said in a keynote address to the UK Aviation Club in London.

“Our aggressive expansion will continue unabated,” he said. “We will […] operate in new markets where other people dare not venture. Until now we have been very successful in finding and fuelling new markets.”

Al Baker also blasted the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme as nothing more than a “way for governments to boost their shallow treasure chests,” he added. He also warned that the UK economy faces a “catastrophic situation”, unless the government there urgently addresses capacity constraints at Heathrow.

He insisted that a third runway at the world’s busiest international airport was “not an option but a necessity” to overcome the capacity crunch. “Heathrow is bursting at the seams and has already reached a critical point.

“Heathrow is already losing out to European neighbouring hubs that have the resources to expand capacity. Measures to expand need to be taken soon to avoid a catastrophic situation in the future.”

The airline is also aiming at full integration into the oneworld alliance within 12 months.