Qatar CEO threatens Airbus orders over slots
Gulf carriers - Emirates and Etihad Airways included - have often accused European airports of protectionism when it comes to the allocation of landing slots at European airports.
July 15, 2014
By Donald Urquhart
Qatar Airways CEO Akbar al Baker has threatened to reconsider his airline’s outstanding Airbus orders should the Abu Dhabi-based carrier fail to obtain requested slots at European airports. “If they (European airport slots) are limited further, we will stop buying European aircraft. We have 186 orders at Airbus. What impact would that have on German jobs?” al Baker told the German daily, Handelsblatt.
The Qatari carrier currently has 50 orders for A320/321neo aircraft, as well as 80 A350-900/1000s, 10 A380-800s and five A330-200Fs on order from Airbus.
Gulf carriers – Emirates and Etihad Airways included – have often accused European airports of protectionism when it comes to the allocation of landing slots at European airports. European carriers in turn accuse the Gulf carriers of enjoying state-backing and easy funding, a claim Gulf airlines have rejected as “baseless”.