Qatar Airways Group CEO, H E Akbar Al Baker has disclosed that the airline carried almost four million passengers when other airlines were not operational due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
In an interview with an aviation and travel blogger, Sam Chui, Al Baker said he will always look for opportunities to keep the airline afloat and working. “We carried 3.8 million passengers, and we repatriated people when other airlines left their passengers stranded.
We were there. I will always take every single opportunity I see. I have to find revenue for my airline, and when everybody shuts their doors, people will still want to travel, and we are there to serve them,” Al Baker told Chui. “We are now the largest long-haul carrier operating in the world today. We received the lowest equity injection of any airline.
Many other airlines have received billions in state aid and subsidies,” he added. Speaking on the pandemic, vaccination, and its impact on the aviation industry, Al Baker said many countries might require vaccination passports for travelers. “Eventually, I think that it will be a mandatory requirement for many countries.
For example, Australia will already not allow people that are not vaccinated to enter the country. If this pandemic continues, and if there is no proper robust treatment, I think many other countries will also require that you have a vaccination passport to enter their borders,” he noted.
Al Baker has led Qatar Airways since 1997, seeing the airline grow into one of the biggest in the world. He stressed that a system is in place for the airline to succeed with or without him.
“We have a succession plan. It is something that I built with the full support of my rulers and the goodwill of the Qatari people.
It is my duty to have a robust succession plan in place. So if I’m there or not, Qatar Airways is still a brand of my country and will continue. Till the last day I am on this chair as the group chief executive, I will continue to do my service towards my country and the mandate given to me by His Highness, my ruler,” Al Baker said.
He also reiterated Qatar Airways’ goal to keep on growing and become carbon neutral.
Source: Civil Aviation Authority – Qatar