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Monday, November 29, 2021

US airlines ratchet up rhetoric against Qatar Airways, Emirates, Etihad

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Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Several US air carriers have once again accused airlines based in Qatar and the UAE of unfairly competing for passengers, and are asking American politicians to restrict the Gulf carriers’ access to their market.

Criticism from the heads of US carriers is nothing new for Qatar Airways, Emirates and Etihad.

But now, American airline executives appear to be escalating matters by asking lawmakers to renegotiate the so-called open-skies agreements that the US has with Qatar, the UAE and many other countries.

“We welcome robust competition provided the playing field is level,” United, Delta and American Airlines said in similar statements to the New York Times earlier this month. “A reopening of those open-skies agreements is the first step and the right step to ensure competition is preserved and enhanced.”

Ben Hirst, Delta’s chief legal officer, added in a comment to Reuters:

“From the US airlines’ standpoint, we’re competing with (foreign) governments, not private businesses.”

Limiting access

As part of the agreement between the US and Qatar, carriers are the ones who determine the frequency and capacity of flights between the two countries.

In contrast, some governments place limits on foreign airlines. One example is Canada, which restricts Qatar Airways to three weekly flights to Montreal despite the airline’s interest in expanding service to the country.

In a joint interview with the Wall Street Journal, the heads of the big three US airlines said their Gulf counterparts had received US$42.3 billion in “quantifiable” subsidies since 2004.

That’s in addition to other benefits, such as tax exemptions, breaks on paying for airport infrastructure and anti-union laws that keep wages low.

Emirates has hit back at the accusations, with Chairman Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum this week offering up some advice to his rivals:

“Offer the best to the passengers and people will fly with you,” he told Bloomberg.

Akbar Al Baker, at a previous news conference.
Akbar Al Baker, at a previous news conference.

While Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker has not publicly responded to the latest round of accusations from the US carriers, he’s previously dismissed the allegations.

“It is not true that we are subsidized,” he was quoted as saying in early 2014.

However, Qatar Airways is state-owned and does not disclose its financial results. And a promise made last May to disclose its 2013 profit figure was never fulfilled.

Opposition at home

Meanwhile, US carriers face opposition in convincing American politicians that placing new controls on the Gulf airlines is in the country’s best interests.

Consumer advocates such as the United States Travel Association have already come out against the idea, arguing that open skies agreements have made it “easier and cheaper for American citizens to travel abroad” while helping to attract more foreign tourists.

Boeing 787 Dreamliner
Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Additionally, the rapid expansion of the Gulf carriers has resulted in hundreds of orders for US-based plane manufacturing Boeing – business that could be hindered by a political dispute.

Qatar Airways alone lists 62 Boeing aircraft in its fleet, with a further 150 on order, with a combined list price in the billions of dollars.

Nevertheless, the recent lobbying effort by the US airlines is regarded as the loudest and most direct call to date for American officials to intervene and protect their airlines’ market share.

Specifically, the US carriers want the government to launch “consultations” with the UAE and Qatar to negotiate new rules that would presumably slow the Gulf carriers’ expansion into the US and hinder the growth of air travel options for residents.

Over the past few years, Qatar Airways has been expanding rapidly in the US, introducing service to Miami, Philadelphia and Dallas/Fort Worth in 2014.

The argument

To support their arguments, the US airlines have reportedly circulated a 55-page report to American lawmakers that has not been made public. However, Reuters reported that it was shown portions of the report that illustrate the shifting market dynamics.

According to the news agency, the proportion of bookings between the US and the Indian subcontinent on Delta, United and American Airlines fell from 39 percent in 2008 to 34 percent last year.

Flag of India for illustrative purposes only.
Flag of India for illustrative purposes only.

Meanwhile, the combined market share of Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways rose from 12 percent to 40 percent during the same time period.

So what has helped the fuel that shift?

Part of the Gulf carriers’ advantage in geography. The airlines’ hub are situated in relatively close proximity to densely populated cities, which enables favorable transfers in Doha, Dubai and Abu Dhabi for passengers.

Additionally, the Gulf airlines market themselves as luxury brands in an industry frequently perceived in recent years to offer poor customer service and passenger comfort.

Critics, however, allege that Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Airways also receive financial support from their state owners that helps enable the airlines to offer more attractive fares on certain routes.

Thoughts?

108 COMMENTS

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Tim
Tim
6 years ago

Don’t hate the player, hate the game.

Yacine
Yacine
6 years ago

I think that by hiding its financial results Qatar Airways confirms the accusations of the American airlines. Even Qataris are interested in knowing these results as they too complain about the excessive fares on many routes.

Huzz
Huzz
6 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

This is very true. Bear in mind also that the national carrier of Qatar does nothing for the Qatari people. Prices for flights in and out of Doha are way above what they should be. Furher Al Baker has even admitted this himself in the past and said that he was not interested in the Doha market as it is not where the company is focused. On top of this when people talk about the friendliness of the cabin crew, 90% of them are not being nice because they love their jobs, they are nice because they live in constant fear of being sacked. Unions are not allowed to represent the interests of the crews and they have no recourse when action is taken against them. These companies in the Gulf can only operate as they do because of the lack of employment protection. They would never operate as they do if they had to deal with the unions. Think about why Qatar airways does not have any bases outside the gulf? Don any of the others either?

MrJames
MrJames
6 years ago

aah…. Americans complaining. They really don’t like it when they’re not the biggest and the strongest.

I agree with Sheikh Ahmed. ‘Up your game, and you’ll be competitive’. I’ve flown with American Airlines, and had hot coffee poured in my lap by an air hostess who looked like Herman Munster. I’d rather lick the weeping sores of a leper than fly with them again.

desertCard
desertCard
6 years ago
Reply to  MrJames

You fail to comprehend. As the Americans have said, they are competing against government subsidized airlines which is not a level playing field. QA can say they’e not but words from his mouth are hollow.
Obviously the Americans are not the only “complainers” as Canada has restricted QA as well.

MrJames
MrJames
6 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

The US spent $1.7 Trillion on the war in Iraq, with a further $500 Billion owed to war veterans. Perhaps that money could have better spent helping out their airlines.

Anonymouse
Anonymouse
6 years ago
Reply to  MrJames

Doesn’t work for the business model. Giving taxpayer money to the airlines would result in a public revolt, whereas the Gulf model is very different and the airlines are arms of the government and supported by the government.

Qatar can throw public money at airlines all it wants, politically it is difficult for the Americans to do that.

MrJames
MrJames
6 years ago
Reply to  Anonymouse

I understand what you’re saying, and to a large extent i do agree.
I can’t help but thinking though, that the US Government has a responsibility and a vested interest in seeing US business do well, and that of course includes aviation.
If these airlines are concerned that the playing field isn’t level, can’t the US government help with tax breaks? Maybe incentives to Boeing etc to provide aircraft at cheaper rates? Less tax on jet fuel?
Limiting slots at airports will help the US airlines, but cost the consumer.
The most important thing though, something that other posts have illustrated far more eloquently that I, is customer experience. The experience on ME3 flights is much better than that on US flights. Better food, cleaner planes, better service.

Cerebus
Cerebus
6 years ago
Reply to  MrJames

The US used to do what Qatar does, which is to restrict the number of flights into the airspace. They signed an open skies agreement that is honored by the US and not the other side as part of the agreement focuses on government intervention in the market and the impact on competitive advantage from the subsidies. This argument has nothing to do with quality of service. The airlines are asking the US government to investigate the practices and determine if there is indeed an unfair advantage and if so, enforce the terms of the Open Skies agreement, which Qatar signed. But you think they will live up to their end of the contract? So the recourse will be to limit flights in and out of the US, which honestly is not good for competition.

terracotta
terracotta
6 years ago
Reply to  Anonymouse

What happens when a company declares bankruptcy?

Anonymouse
Anonymouse
6 years ago
Reply to  terracotta

Depends. Usually get creditor protection, try to restructure, and then bought up by a competitor.

guest
guest
6 years ago
Reply to  Anonymouse

The US govt gives money/subsidies to private industries all the time – banks, farmers, etc.

Anonymouse
Anonymouse
6 years ago
Reply to  guest

Yes, but not airlines. It would be a political no go.

Cerebus
Cerebus
6 years ago
Reply to  guest

Yes it does, and those are congressionally authorized subsidies OR loans. The banks were a one time anomaly and the farmers is about stabilization of crop prices that fluctuate due to weather or other events. An airline is an entirely different thing. The US has a right, just like Qatar does, to restrict who flies into their country and airspace. Qatar does this, but for them its OK?

desertCard
desertCard
6 years ago
Reply to  MrJames

Qatar will spend over $20 billion on a WC in’22. With all the poor and starving and displaced in the ME is that wise?

Chipper fluffypants
Chipper fluffypants
6 years ago
Reply to  MrJames

Ah yes, when nothing else to say, use the Iraq war to prove your point.

Cerebus
Cerebus
6 years ago
Reply to  MrJames

The US does not take government tax dollars and use it to prop up the airline or retail or any other business, which is the compliant….its not a level playing field because they have to compete with heavily subsidized state airlines from oil rich states with discounted fuel (QA still charges a fuel surcharge – while the US airlines suspended it – must be that special service). Not sure what the war has to do with any of this. To silence this argument from British Airways, Qatar Airways bought a 5% share of the company. Maybe they will do the same with American (but that would need approval from US courts – which would not approve because – Qatar Airways is government subsidized).

Mohammed Albanai
Mohammed Albanai
6 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

they werent complaining when they first started and were receiving tons of government support. it was fair for them then why isnt it fair for us today?

desertCard
desertCard
6 years ago

When was this?

Anonymouse
Anonymouse
6 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

Exactly. American airlines die and merge all the time. Can you imagine anyone allowing QA to die? Too much national pride tied up in it, rather that just seeing it as a business like any other.

terracotta
terracotta
6 years ago
Reply to  Anonymouse

They have allowed Gulf Air to die almost 😛

Anonymouse
Anonymouse
6 years ago
Reply to  terracotta

That’s the way it goes.

Cerebus
Cerebus
6 years ago
Reply to  terracotta

Gulf Air needs to die…..

Anonymouse
Anonymouse
6 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

Indeed. I am unfamiliar with any US airlines that have been branches of the the government.

Cerebus
Cerebus
6 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

Prior to the 1970s the Airlines were all government regulated in prices (not really a subsidy) and under price controls. The government stopped tampering in the industry and it exploded globally. The argument that it is unfair is completely valid under the terms of signed agreements within Open Skies that Qatar Airways signed. Part of the that agreement had protections from subsidized state run airlines that allowed for increased tariffs to create balance in the markets. As the ME3 don’t release their public statements – likely because of this – the airlines are asking the US government to intercede, which they will. If the practice is deemed unfair, the results will negatively impact the revenues of Qatar Airways as it suddenly loses the most lucrative routes in the world.

Anonymouse
Anonymouse
6 years ago

Exactly, one does what one can to protect their industry. You’ll understand then when QA starts losing landing privileges in favor of domestic airlines? Qatar Airways can focus on the lucrative Qatar domestic air market.

Anonymouse
Anonymouse
6 years ago

I say keep giving government support. Charge those foreigners high enough landing fees so that their flights are so much more expensive than ours. The Japanese do it, why not apply it to the ME3?

Anonymouse
Anonymouse
6 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

Keep restricting I say.

Vignale
Vignale
6 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

The American Airlines are competing against Norwegian(NAS) as well and they are not subsizidized. They also complain that that particular airline got cheap loans in the US for purchasing 200+ Boeings so this is all pure politics from the Americans using whatever they can to try to stop their competitors.

guest
guest
6 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

But Americans play the same game with subsidies for farming – so why are they complaining?

What is good for the goose… http://www.ncpa.org/pub/ba547

Cerebus
Cerebus
6 years ago
Reply to  guest

Farming is different than the airline industry. If they did subsidize the airlines – I would say look out Qatar Airways – not sure if that is the best recourse. Do you honestly want to compete with a country that has a GDP 1000x of that of Qatar and the deepest proven oil reserves in the world? If they did, the world would scream unfair advantage.

Misha
Misha
6 years ago
Reply to  MrJames

Im sure the Americans themselves are not complaining they get better service and cheaper, they will have no sympathy for their own airlines. I have flown American, United, Delta, NorthWest, Southwest and Continental (flown two of them internationally). They aren’t as good as Qatar Airways or Emirates and most flight attendants don’t display any form of hospitality. As a customer I don’t care just like they don’t care when they raise the prices when we are most vulnerable why should we be sympathetic.

Chipper fluffypants
Chipper fluffypants
6 years ago
Reply to  MrJames

How to do that when the U.S. govt doesn’t fund the airlines? There is no way to compete against the unlimited funds of the Gulf.

Cerebus
Cerebus
6 years ago
Reply to  MrJames

I see…you would also rather have a “Hot” girl pour coffee in your lap…..accidents happen….I am certain that her looks would not have prevented it…..or maybe she did it on purpose, because your attitude? Who knows……either way, basing the efficacy of a business based on a single incident that was an accident seems shortsighted….and taking it to the extent that the flight attendants don’t look good enough for you speaks volumes.

MrJames
MrJames
6 years ago
Reply to  Cerebus

There’s an good chance that she did it deliberately because of MY looks 🙂
I’m definitely no Brad Pitt

FrequentFlyer
FrequentFlyer
6 years ago
Reply to  MrJames

Ist not just about Picking a name though. Look at the Union situation with Lufthansa, BA, AA, UA, DL. These companies have employees with amazing pay and conditions compared to what EK, EY and QR provide. Talk to any cabin crew from Qatar and they will tell you about the horribly oppressive rules they live under. No wonder they party hard when away from DOH. EU and American carriers are my choice for when things go wrong in regard to weather and technical issues. Sometimes they can be grumpy, and the U.S. ones completely anally retentive over the whole security situation.

In short, if you fly enough you will see that QR provides a very robotic level of service. No real personalization based on details they could be giving via the iPad eg vip, very frequent customer, had issues on last flight so treat him well.
If you want truly first class service, worthy of the name, look west. If you want a half baked soft product but good seats… Look to the ME.

terracotta
terracotta
6 years ago

why dont they try to improve their services?

Anonymouse
Anonymouse
6 years ago
Reply to  terracotta

The the Qatari government will then spend as much as it can of the government’s money to compete and absorb any losses. It is like QNB’s advertising that it is the world’s strongest bank – well yes, it is part of the Qatari government.

Rob
Rob
6 years ago

American airlines and Delta are incomparable to Qatar Airways. They are a class below. Most american airlines offer the worst customer service, dilapidated age-old planes, and no amenities whatsoever. The crew are old retirees who treat customers with indifference and in an unfriendly manner. Why am I not surprised that they are losing the game? Qatar airways and emirates are the best airlines in the world, where you are greeted with a smile and wih utmost professionalism and hospitality. The seats, the cleanliness, the monitors, the food, everything is of higher quality than American airlines. I would choose economy on Qatar airways over first class on American any day.

waqas
waqas
6 years ago
Reply to  Rob

I have travelled on American airlines, emirates and Qatar, and while AAs planes were old and seats not very comfortable I thought their staff was very friendly, courteous, not with fake smiles.
Worth mentioning that the flight from Doha to JFK on AA was half the price of Qatar airways with the only difference between a stop over in heathrow.
gulf states supporting their official carries is no secret.

Ibrahim Ali
Ibrahim Ali
6 years ago
Reply to  waqas

Using different airline than home’s is ALWAYS cheaper! Adding to that a stop in between, it is no surprise.

Cerebus
Cerebus
6 years ago
Reply to  Ibrahim Ali

So why is it cheaper to fly from Doha to Dubai, then back to Doha and on to Miami on the same plane? More fuel, more time, etc….because Qatari residents and citizens pay extra to fly from home? And not by small amounts but thousands of Ryials. Hamad airport is a mess, it is falling apart, literally. Long term parking is a disaster, the only functional lounge is the business class one, all others are either not done or half done, and it seems its nothing more than a dreary duty free mall in a state with no duty…..If that was my country’s 14.5 Billion dollars, I might be a little upset at the result.

Steelfinch
Steelfinch
6 years ago
Reply to  Cerebus

Its to do with pricing strategies. The ME3 airlines intend to use their home bases as hubs, as let’s be honest, aside from Dubai, none of them are massive tourist destinations in their own right. Therefore, in order to get passengers to fly their routes, they offer lower prices for onward connections that direct flights say from London to Bangkok. To make up for that, the prices for a direct flight are lower. You can see this if you look at Doha to London direct or via Dubai. Its much more expensive to go direct on QA. But the same is true of DXB to LHR direct. Its much cheaper to connect via DOH

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  Rob

I agree American airlines cannot compete on service with the gulf airlines but then again that is the whole point. Lavish government subsidies, huge investment in new planes and negotiating free trade deals with foreign governments gives them that advantage.

Rol
Rol
6 years ago
Reply to  Rob

Couldn’t agree any more with you. My few experiences on American airlines were one of the worst in my life. The gist of it, I felt like i was taking a long ride on a bus. Their business is dropping, sure it will for international travelllers.

Chipper fluffypants
Chipper fluffypants
6 years ago
Reply to  Rol

Ever see a bathroom on QA after a longhaul flight to the U.S.? So filthy and the floors flooded with water. I went to the business class bathroom with my daughter and they tried to stop me. I told them to take a look at the economy class bathroom, clean it, then I will use it. I told them to tell the pilot how disgusting it is. They let me use the business class bathroom. Yes, the seats are a little bigger and I get more movie choices, but the cabin crew are useless in economy on QA. Especially if you have a sick child, they run away. FA on U.S. airlines go out of their way to help you with a sick child.

Anonymouse
Anonymouse
6 years ago
Reply to  Rob

Clearly you have never flown the East Asian airlines, as United is to Qatar Airways, then Qatar Airways is to Singapore and other top tier East Asian. Qatar Airways is a disgusting pit of filth and surliness in comparison to Singapore or JAL. The ME3 are middle of the pack, no more, and very far from the best in the world – at least for the economy class market. I find Emirates to be far superior to QA, but that is just a personal opinion – neither one of them are in the same class as Sing or JAL though.

Jordan
Jordan
6 years ago
Reply to  Anonymouse

Qatar Airways is an amazing airline and their service is by far better than US Airlines. The customer service is excellent with great attention to detail. Emirates and etihad are also great and all compete on their customer service, aircraft seating quality and comfort.
I have been to Qatar. It’s the richest country in the world in terms of GDP, state of the art new international airport and a great booming economy.

Anonymouse
Anonymouse
6 years ago
Reply to  Jordan

Agreed on the GDP, airport is new and very nice compared to the aging US infrastructure, but by international standards it is nothing special. Visit Ichon airport, now that is a world class facility. QA is still very much second tier compared to their betters in east Asia – that may change over time, but for now they don’t compare.

MrJames
MrJames
6 years ago
Reply to  Anonymouse

I’ve been in a disgusting pit of filth in Singapore. It definitely wasn’t an airline. Very much enjoyed it :))

Anonymouse
Anonymouse
6 years ago
Reply to  MrJames

You’ve made me nostalgic. You have no idea. Viva la filth!

Cerebus
Cerebus
6 years ago
Reply to  Rob

Sorry, but have to disagree with your assertions above. I flew Delta for more than 20 years. They have one of the best customer service capabilities of any business I have ever dealt with. Qatar Airways is an absolute nightmare in customer service. I don’t get my miles, the status for preferred clients is rubbish, the airport is an absolute mess, and I have yet, in more than 100 flights been given any of my meal requests. I spend endless hours with customer service agents that don’t know how to use their own applications, I can’t use basic features of the applications online or mobile, and mobile checkin with a boarding pass printed at the airport kiosks has worked exactly zero times. Just last week, the airline canceled my flight and said….well stick it and figure out how to get there on your own rather than automatically rebooking the way a US or UK carrier would. Frankly I am tired of hearing about how these airlines offer some superior service simply because they have a car that picks you up at a staircase (really….still a staircase) and 2 extra CMs in business class. Its a shame and a joke. These companies that have to compete in a legitimate space are forced to compete with others that have a massive government subsidy, which is unfair business practices. People try to compare the first calls routes on domestic flights in the US to first class or business class (as you have done Rob) and its apples and oranges. As to the flight crews being old….so you want young hot flight attendants? I would rather have ones that actually know the safety procedures on the plane. I was on a QA flight from another GCC country the other day and the video broke, so the attendants did not know – where the exits are, if the card they were showing was right side up, how to direct in case of an emergency. When the plane took off, one of them was not even seated and had to be helped into a seat by a customer…..so yeah….premium class….not buying the hype.

Chilidog
Chilidog
6 years ago
Reply to  Cerebus

I always completely agree with you on QR comments…… Privilege Club Platinum means nothing without the correct passport to go along with it.

gobackalready
gobackalready
6 years ago
Reply to  Chilidog

Unsurprisingly you agree with anything negative related to Qatar, your likes are there to prove it.

Chilidog
Chilidog
6 years ago
Reply to  gobackalready

Well, not quite anything, but some days I feel like it. And thanks, I’m quite flattered to have someone taking the time to research my Disqus body of work. And don’t worry, when my contract is over I will follow your welcoming username’s advice (counting the days….)!

Anonymouse
Anonymouse
6 years ago
Reply to  gobackalready

We are not discussing Qatar, we are discussing an airline, staffed, run, and overseen overwhelmingly by foreigners.

Misha
Misha
6 years ago
Reply to  Chilidog

If it makes you feel a bit better, a Privilege Club Gold (for about 5 years in a row now) means nothing with “the correct” passport to go along with it.

Chilidog
Chilidog
6 years ago
Reply to  Misha

I suppose it does make me feel a bit better to hear your perspective. But I do have a few interesting anecdotes to back up my statement though. I guess if one flies enough (as I do) one definitely sees the underbelly of an airline many times….

Chipper fluffypants
Chipper fluffypants
6 years ago
Reply to  Cerebus

Amen! I can’t agree with you more.

fullmoon07
fullmoon07
6 years ago
Reply to  Rob

on Emirates/Ethiad I agree…..on Qatar Airways I feel sometimes I am in a sheep cargo!
Clean? NO! Dirty.
Food? S^&tty and sloppy.
Seats? Almost my knees under my chin.
Stinky? Like a pig house.
Smart thinking? not even a bit. And to end…..
Customer services? Inexistent!
Prices? Abusive

Cerebus
Cerebus
6 years ago
Reply to  Rob

One of the world’s largest airlines makes its flight attendants ask permission before getting married
http://wapo.st/1KTtmVn

Bill
Bill
6 years ago
Reply to  Rob

How illogical your views are. If the big carriers in the US could also:
– Pay employees well below the minimum wage, they could have 10 people for the price of one
– Impose strict curfews and ‘if you make a mistake you are fired’ rules, their employees would work a lot harder too
– Were subsidised by their government, so even if they weren’t making a profit and giving away free seats just to grab the passengers, they would still survive
Level the playing field, and you will soon see where the Mid-East carriers really are lacking.

Parwaiz Win
Parwaiz Win
6 years ago
Reply to  Rob

What is wrong with retirees ? Are they not humans or in your opinion…only the young can do a good job, You do realize…one day,,,u too will grow old. And…hold a passport from India…Pakistan…Nepal and lets see how well you are treated. Stop making idiotic comments.

Adam
Adam
6 years ago
Reply to  Rob

Actually, you are being diplomatic! American airlines are simply the poorest excuse for an airline! From the quality of their planes to their services, I am shocked that they are still in business!!! It is insulting to even compare them to the luxurious Airlines in this region, such as Qatar Airways…

johnny wang
johnny wang
6 years ago

Countries like America, China,India and others offer a open skies policy to this local airlines to fly to any places in those countries. Can this local airlines offer those countries airlines the same.

What the Americans are actually complaining about is when doing business it should be a level playing field not only where the aviation sector is concerned but all other business dealings. This local countries cannot pick and choose as it suits them and be hyper active in the aviation sector but not allow the other countries fair business dealings or practices in the other sectors of their own economies.

Wanderer
Wanderer
6 years ago

Qatar Airways pricing structure for flights originating in Qatar is an absolute abuse of their monopoly. Today, a return flight from London to Bangkok via Doha cost £451. A return flight from Doha to Bangkok on those exact same flights costs £639, over 40% more for half the distance.

Satish
Satish
6 years ago
Reply to  Wanderer

Yes, you are right.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago
Reply to  Wanderer

Of course. Do you think Al Baker cares about you? It’s not as if he will let other airlines fly from Doha, he won’t accept the competition

Anonymouse
Anonymouse
6 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Funny thing is, I don’t think that Al Baker is competent enough to run an airline that isn’t a branch of the Qatar government. Can you see him trying to negotiate with unions, have real press conferences, answer reporter questions about budgets, etc? His head would explode.

787Dreamliner
787Dreamliner
6 years ago

Enough said on the topic.. how come Doha news put Indian flag in between us and gulf airlines discussion☺ some one sleeping in Doha News.

Anonymouse
Anonymouse
6 years ago
Reply to  787Dreamliner

Read the article, it aligns with the section where flights to India are discussed – it is perfectly appropriate.

787Dreamliner
787Dreamliner
6 years ago
Reply to  Anonymouse

I read again it says Indian subcontinent which includes India Pakistan Bangladesh Nepal Sri Lanka.. can Indian flag represent all! No way.

Anonymouse
Anonymouse
6 years ago
Reply to  787Dreamliner

Bah, aren’t they all really Indians at heart? 😉 Seriously though, you couldn’t have all of those flags on the page, so one for the largest market would be representative.

787Dreamliner
787Dreamliner
6 years ago
Reply to  Anonymouse

Indian at heart

Anonymouse
Anonymouse
6 years ago
Reply to  787Dreamliner

Yeah, no mistake was made. Given the illegal immigration from those other countries to India for a better life, who wouldn’t consider them Indian deep down?

787Dreamliner
787Dreamliner
6 years ago
Reply to  Anonymouse

Ha ha so all the immigrants to Australia or Canada or America are Australians Canadian and Americans deep down! Then we have country of origin info on record. The way it is defended It seems I am talking to the compiler of the article himself. . Behind anonymous veil☺

Anonymouse
Anonymouse
6 years ago
Reply to  787Dreamliner

Ummm what?

Anonymouse
Anonymouse
6 years ago
Reply to  787Dreamliner

Ummm, what? Put down the keyboard, step away from the screen, take a deep breath.

787Dreamliner
787Dreamliner
6 years ago
Reply to  Anonymouse

I have read it again. Is India and Indian subcontinent same! Indian subcontinent include Pakistan Bangladesh Nepal and Sri Lanka as well. For your info. I would again emphasise some body is sleeping in Doha News.

ShabinaKhatri
ShabinaKhatri
6 years ago
Reply to  787Dreamliner

We used the Indian flag because it’s the largest market in the subcontinent.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

It is true to start a global airline you need a lot of money and I have no problem with the gulf governments doing that to kickstart the industry. However whe they becomes as big as they are it starts to be unfair competition.

If they put the other airlines out of business what will happen? Think of landlords in Qatar and your yearly rent increase and you’ll get the idea.

Ziad Ramley
Ziad Ramley
6 years ago

If the ME3 were bad airlines, they would suffer regardless of subsidies. That’s how the market works. While I admit they’re each with their faults, when I want to fly and feel confident that I’ll be taken care of I always choose QA, Etihad, or Emirates. Their product is simply better.

Anonymouse
Anonymouse
6 years ago
Reply to  Ziad Ramley

That is definitely not how the market works.

Anonymouse
Anonymouse
6 years ago

Good. Follow the examples of Canada and Germany and control those landing privileges.

Chipper fluffypants
Chipper fluffypants
6 years ago

It is impossible to compete against government sponsored airlines – especially those from the Gulf with unlimited funds to provide attractive airfare and better quality. If you want to pay cheap fares on U.S. carriers, then expect a lower quality. It’s simple economics.

Cerebus
Cerebus
6 years ago

It seems that the measurement of quality in the ME3 is the size of something – bigger business class seats, more premium services, and screw the cattle in the back of the plane. In the US better doesn’t mean bigger or more, it simply means doing something the right way, and treating people better. Do they fail sometimes, yes. But imagine this, the US handles more air travelers everyday than the rest of the world combined. They do it dealing with weather, outages, and striking unions. Yet in all that they are deemed a lesser class because of – what, a style of seat? Not buying it. Give me a pleasant person to speak with on the phone that can actually help me. Upgrade me when you make a mistake. Rebook a flight for me automatically when you cancel it. Treat all your customers and employees with respect. That is a premium class of experience in my mind. I will take that type of customer service over a slightly bigger seat any day. But I fly….a lot….so I value different things that other people.

Frequent Flyer
Frequent Flyer
6 years ago
Reply to  Cerebus

Exactly! I also fly a lot. I value things like knowing the airline recognizes me as a very frequent traveller, so when there are weather delays, tech failures etc. I can get rebooked quickly. The ME3 really do cater for the bucket and spade, 2x a year traveller who fall for a gimmicky things. They don’t see the bigger picture. Like QR “enhancing” economy meals – no more crackers. Tiny main meal. But wait! Oh, you now get metal cutlery! On QR, even in business I tend to bring something along as insurance for poor food options and quality.

Blue
Blue
6 years ago

Besides offering a quality product, these 3 carriers are ‘safer’ to fly to the states.

There has never been a ‘threat’ to any of these carriers – unlike AA, UA or BA hmmm

Perhaps like the Canadian shale industry, the strategic plan would be to kill the long distance travel industry itself from traditional carriers – BA, Luft, AA, UA, Delta etc.

Cerebus
Cerebus
6 years ago

The best part of Qatar Airways? Lets vote. A) The Smells! B) the kids climbing all over the plane without parents keeping them in their seats C) The garbage in the aisles after each flight D) The other smells E) Actually being the lucky SOB to get on your plane that you booked.

BillyBob
BillyBob
6 years ago

🙂

Riz
Riz
6 years ago

Absolute garbage….I have all airlines. As an Asian I found US airlines service very poor perhaps it is not locals. Bottom line US airlines cannot compete with the airlines mentioned particularly Emirates in my opinion. All these do plants are spur grapes as usual…they think they have the right control everything.

In any case subsidy or otherwise people will only fly if they get value for money in fares and service. I use Emirates even if it is inconvenient for me because I get looked after with respect….not like these airlines from US and Europe!

Expat77
Expat77
6 years ago

QA quality is definitely better if not 5 star. But there’s discrimination too. Recently flew QA Brussels to India via doha. 1st part was gr8 but on Doha- India attendant apologised theres only vegetarian meal. I was seated 24th row. So i wonder if passengers all the way to 45th row ate vegetarian. Seems she wanted to somehow use up excess veg.meals. One quality for western sector another quality for Asian sector!

Yacine
Yacine
6 years ago
Reply to  Expat77

Alitalia used to do the same. It send the oldest and noisiest planes to African destinations and keeps the good ones for the U.S., Canada, and Europe.

Michael L
Michael L
6 years ago

Bottom line : qatar airways is apalling value for money for those of us who live in Qatar. How on earth can it be cheaper for me to fly via Dubai to London than go direct ? HIA is a significant upgrade on the old airport (but what wouldn’t be ?) but does not compare with the worlds best.

AEC
AEC
6 years ago
Reply to  Michael L

Have they put doors on the women’s toilets yet?

summit
summit
6 years ago

Now this is what we wont expect US will do….otherwise affect may go alongside from Qatar; in F16 to Boeing purchase, recruiting Pilots and several Projects Management Team & Tehnology, and even to Hotel and Banking collobarative shares…..US better to cut the surplus expenses and cost and facilities of their own staff to save their ailines in free market….

summit
summit
6 years ago
Reply to  summit

For all US carrier CEO’s and management to watch this link; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qj7ZHrYL28M

fullmoon07
fullmoon07
6 years ago
Reply to  summit

I saw this video a week ago: Amazing CEO. My hat off to such a ethical person

SokhnaFan2010
SokhnaFan2010
6 years ago
Reply to  summit

Now that’s a boss to be proud of!

AEC
AEC
6 years ago

Meanwhile – http://wapo.st/1vr1lNQ

Cerebus
Cerebus
6 years ago
Reply to  AEC

Saw this and posted as well…..shameful.

Amber
Amber
6 years ago

Of course they want to restrict gulf carriers. Gulf carriers actually treat their passengers like human beings and not cattle. So people go with the airline that treats them well. US airlines have horrible service and they charge for the smallest things like headphones.

If US airlines want to gain passengers back then they need to provided proper services. Fire all the flight attendants with bad attitudes and don’t nickle and dime your customers for the everything. And for goodness sakes clean the darn plane? I remember flying US airways a few years back and the seats were dingy looking Some of theme had loads of thread coming out of it. The on board entertainment was a joke.

American Airlines was pretty good but their service has even gone down.

SullyofDoha
SullyofDoha
6 years ago

Funny how the dirty little secret of qatar airway’s ownership of QDC never seems to get mentioned. I imagine that is any national airline held a monopoly of the sale of adult beverages, it would be doing pretty well too 😉

Susan
Susan
6 years ago

Yes, pretty much all domestic American airlines suck. The quality and service that Qatar Airways provides is, hands down, much better.
That said, Qatar Airways (as with most businesses here) is in the enviable position of not having to deal with pesky unions and minimum wage laws and worker strikes when the treat employees badly (because there are so few labor laws here to protect workers; pretty much everything rules in favor of the employer). The rest of the world has to take those factors into account. Couple that with the nationalization of the airline by the Qatari government (basically their budget is limitless), and that means they can treat and pay their workers like crap and rake in ridiculous profits while competing against other airlines who can’t operate under those same “perks”. (Imagine if a US company had rules that said their female staff had to be single for the first 5 years of service, and needed company permission if they got married. They’d have more lawsuits than they could handle…).
So while their level of service IS much better than most American airlines, they really aren’t operating on a level playing field. Not even close.

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
6 years ago

“the rapid expansion of the Gulf carriers has resulted in hundreds of orders for US-based plane manufacturing Boeing – business that could be hindered by a political dispute.” And that’s all that matters 🙂

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
6 years ago

It’s a well known fact that most, if not all, American airline companies simply are inferior in terms of services and treatment of customers when compared to airlines from Asian, European, and especially the Gulf.

I also noticed that the quality of the service differs between local and international flights for American companies, with the international ones being better; no doubt to better compete with the other companies.

Jack
Jack
6 years ago

I am from the U.S and I can assure you that Delta Airlines are racist, just google all the cases against them, plus I had my own bad experience with Delta. In general I second Rob’s,”American airlines and Delta are incomparable to Qatar Airways. They are a class below” AA and Delta feel like an old public bus not airlines.

gb
gb
6 years ago

Very bad experience flying with Qatar.. It will be my first and the last time flying Qatar. Unprofessional in-flight service. The meal portion was quite less for an international flight with no taste. We requested an extra bread — air hostess rudely said that they don’t keep anything extra. Over-all felt like a cheap flight..Very disappointed.

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