Akbar Al Baker, chief of Qatar Airways, has labelled Europe’s airlines as ‘inefficient’ and too wrapped up by European Union (EU) policies.
This comes in response to claims from Europe that they are facing unregulated competition from the Middle East, namely Emirates, Etihad and Al Baker’s own company.
According to AFP, he said that “There is enough business... They are inefficient”.
It has been a torrid summer for some of Europe’s biggest airlines. The biggest of them all, Lufthansa, has had to deal with continual strike activity from pilots because of fears over a revampled pension scheme as the company looks to save money.
Air France KLM has also suffered from strike activity to the cost of millions of euros, and has subsequently spoken out against the government backing given to the Gulf carriers. Large loans, fuel subsidies, low taxes and minimal airport access fees all benefit the likes of Qatar Airways.
Al Baker blamed unions for the trouble, especially for that seen in France and Germany. He said that the US airlines received far less intervention and protection from their home government, re-enforcing his claim that Europe’s carriers are inefficient.