In an exclusive interview on CNN’s Quest Means Business, Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker discussed the challenges facing the airline industry amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“By the time this pandemic is over, there will only be few airlines that are strong and will continue operating. A lot of other airlines will go under. And this will continue to happen, because we have not seen the worst of it over yet,” he said during the interview.
Al Baker warned that returning the airline industry to full strength should be a key priority to boost the global economic outlook, “If this pandemic prolongs for too long, this will completely destroy the world’s economy which is so dependent on airlines for delivering business, carrying freight around, and most importantly creating jobs.”
The Qatar Airways CEO showed CNN’s Richard Quest the safety precautions that the airline is taking at Hamad International Airport in Doha and on board its planes. These include high-tech temperature sensors, ultraviolet disinfectant processes, and mask-wearing on flights, “I can assure you as the CEO of an airline, my biggest priority is to protect my passengers and my crew. All the precautions we have taken and the measurements we take, infections on airplanes is minimal.”
The CEO also spoke about access to vaccinations and mitigating the risks amid slow vaccine rollouts in some countries. He told Quest, “It will be a problem for the aviation industry. And we will have to work a way within these risks that we will have to take. But we will have to do things, we’ll have to put processes, we’ll have to put systems in place to mitigate that risk.”
Source: Civil Aviation Authority – Qatar