Qatar’s Al Baker on the Chinese ‘sleeping giants’

When asked by Payload Asia in Doha recently about the largely quiet role of Chinese carriers, in what some refer to as the ‘sleeping giants’ of the air cargo sector, Al Baker said: “I agree, the Chinese carriers are sleeping giants. In my mind China is the economic superpower and they have huge growth potential.”


When asked by Payload Asia
in Doha recently about the
largely quiet role of Chinese
carriers, in what some refer to as the
‘sleeping giants’ of the air cargo sector, Al
Baker said: “I agree, the Chinese carriers
are sleeping giants. In my mind China is
the economic superpower and they have
huge growth potential.”

But there is one aspect of these sleeping
giants that is seldom discussed within the
industry, or by those in the US and Europe
who are engaged in the fierce state subsidy
rhetoric aimed largely Qatar Airways and
its next door neighbor in Dubai.

“I want to put one question to people
who always accuse us of subsidies. They
never talk about Chinese carriers because
the business in China suits them. They
want to concentrate on a place where they
get the highest yield and no competition
and it serves their purpose.

“I don’t mean to say Chinese carriers
get subsidies, but Chinese carriers are all
government owned – the government
puts equity into those companies, the
same as my government does in Qatar
Airways.”

And this he says, like the Chinese
carriers is not ongoing equity, but onetime
equity from which point the carrier
is expected to conduct its business. And
for Qatar Airways financing for new
aircraft comes not from the government
treasury, he points out, but from
international financial institutions.