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Qatar Airways CEO Addresses The Doha Aviation Summit To Work On Stamping Out Aviation Charges

Doha, QATAR – Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker spelled out the need for industry collaboration to fight off the introduction of unnecessary charges that will eventually have to be passed onto consumers.


He called on industry bodies IATA and ICAO to work collectively in the interests of airlines. The EU is looking to introduce new charges relating to the environment which will eventually be borne by airline passengers.


“There are two entities, IATA and ICAO and I hope they realise how much dependence the world economy has on aviation,” he said, speaking on a panel of airline executives during the Doha Aviation Summit in the Qatari capital.


He cited the proposed European Trading Scheme (ETS) allowing the European Union to press ahead with plans to charge airlines flying in and out of European airspace for emissions permits from 2012.


ETS forces the aviation industry to pay for permits for each tonne of carbon dioxide they emit into the atmosphere. The ETS is the EU's main tool for combating climate change and it wants to see the system adopted worldwide.


Challenging such a scheme, Al Baker said these charges were merely designed to fund governments and not necessarily find their way back into the industry – and that consumers would be forced to pay for these charges to the detriment of the industry as a whole.


“Governments should not be using airlines as a cash cow for their own inefficiencies. They should try to work with airlines for the benefit of trade and commerce,” said Al Baker, adding that one industry voice to tackle the issue was the way forward.


Al Baker also addressed the growing discontent among European airlines about the rapid growth of Gulf carriers.


“In order to put their own house in order, they are trying to blame us for their shortcomings,” he said. “They should be more efficient. They are worried because we are very cost focused, yet airlines in Europe are cost constrained and not allowed to grow because of their high cost base.”


Qatar Airways currently flies to 94 destinations across Europe, Africa, Middle East, Asia Pacific, North and South America with a modern fleet of 91 aircraft. By 2013, the Doha-based airline plans to serve 120 key business and leisure destinations worldwide with a fleet of 120 aircraft.


Qatar Airways has orders for 80 Airbus A350s, 60 Boeing 787s and 32 Boeing 777s, with deliveries of the latter having started in November 2007. The airline is one of the customers of the twin-deck Airbus A380 ‘super jumbos’ with five on order and scheduled for delivery from 2012, by which time the New Doha International Airport would have opened. For more information, visit www.qatarairways.com and www.ndiaproject.com



Qatar Airways Corporate Communications
Tel: +974 4496956, Fax: +974 4620132
E-mail: qrmedia@qatarairways.com.qa

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