MIAMI – More airlines will fail in the future as a result of recovery complacency, Qatar Airways (QR) CEO Akbar Al Baker told participants of a conference, as aviation portal FlightGlobal reported on December 8.
Speaking at the opening of the Future Travel Experience APEX virtual event, Al Baker said as per the portal, “gave a wide-ranging keynote address on the post-pandemic transformation of air transport.”
Asked about how he would encourage the aerospace supply chain, Al Baker stated that “governments should also render support to suppliers, especially to ‘highly-specialized, technologically-advanced suppliers,'” adding that “when travel demand returns in the post-pandemic future, you will need them down the line again when the industry starts ramping up.”
Caution with Vaccine and Mixed Alliance Relationships
QR’s top executive also mentioned that airlines were “not out of the woods” yet.
“We are not out into good days again…we will still face a difficult period going down the line. And that happened…you can see that all the airlines were very excited in June and July. And look what’s happening now. [I] am predicting that there will be some more failures, because people will again get relaxed,” Al Baker said.
Regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, Al Baker asked to be patient, adding that airlines “need to continue taking precautions, and the government must…stand with the supply chain in the aviation industry as I think there will be more failures in our…community.”
Al Baker was also asked about Qatar Airways’ relationship with other Oneworld Alliance partners, as the membership was at risk of falling apart years ago.
Al Baker told FlightGlobal in an interview in 2018 that the carrier was considering withdrawing from the alliance, citing an irritation with alliance partners American Airlines and Qantas. In his most recent remarks, Al Baker cut a cordial tone, noting that the frayed relationship with American Airlines — which was embroiled in a subsidies row with Qatar and other Gulf carriers — has improved remarkably since. In February, both carriers revived a codeshare deal, two years after they cut ties,” the portal stated.
Even though its relationship with AA has been improved, QR’s relationship with Qantas (QF) is still not at its finest. “We have still not the kind of relation I’m looking for with Qantas,” Al Baker said. QF has a solid partnership with Emirates (EK), but not with Qatar.
Featured image: Akbar Al Baker in front of the first 737MAX for Air Italy. Picture: Bernie Leighton.