Report: Qatar Airways chief has harsh words for Delta’s CEO

Editor’s note: See updates below.

The CEO of Qatar Airways had some colorful words for his American rivals in a press conference to announce several new routes and other service improvements in New York, Mashable reported Wednesday.

Qatar Airways

A Qatar Airways Airbus A350 jet. Courtesy: Qatar Airways

The harshest words appear to have been reserved for the CEO of Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines, who has been critical of Gulf carriers for being subsidized by their governments.

That hasn’t sat well with Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker.

Reports Mashable:

 The tension between Gulf carriers — including Qatar, Emirates and Etihad — and U.S. carriers — notably Delta, United and American — has been building for some time, and Al Baker took the topic head on in the press conference on Wednesday.

Speaking of Delta CEO Richard Anderson specifically, Al Baker said that his criticisms of Gulf carriers as “governments” were “nonsense,” with the goal of stifling the competition “so he can swindle American passengers even more.”

“Let him come face to face with me in any forum,” Al Baker said of Anderson. “I will hang him on a wall.”


Delta Air Lines CEO Richard Anderson.

During the press conference, Al Baker announced, among other things, new service next year to Atlanta, Boston and Los Angeles.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution attempted to reach Delta representatives, but an after-hours page was not immediately returned.

To see more on Qatar’s plans and what the company’s CEO had to say, click here.

While Delta did not directly respond, a spokeswoman for the Partnership for Open and Fair Skies, a trade group backed by U.S. carriers, including Delta, and airline industry labor groups, did have a response.

In an email Thursday morning to the AJC, spokeswoman Jill Zuckman said:

“It is disappointing that Akbar Al Baker has come to the United States in order to level insults and spread misinformation. The truth is that while the Gulf carriers are dumping capacity on the U.S. thanks to their government treasuries, the U.S. airlines are forced to cut routes, harming the jobs of aviation workers and threatening domestic airline service in America. As of today, no US carrier is able to serve Dubai. The facts are clear, Qatar Airlines has received more than $17 billion in unfair subsidies and other lopsided benefits from its government sponsor – decimating any chance of fair competition and violating Open Skies agreements with the United States.”

Reader Comments 0


lol such a joke to see companies who get taxpayer bail out think that is not a subsidy.


He said, " I will hang him on a wall " coming from an Arab, does that mean by the balls or neck ? 

Jim Lewis
Jim Lewis

The Qatar CEO should be ashamed of himself. He was quoted yesterday saying he would hang Delta CEO on a wall. So typical for that part of the world, hang him on a wall, or a bridge, or behead him right? Maybe a car bomb? Just incredible....

The middle eastern airlines continue to be government owned, operated and financed to the tune of $42 billion dollars in the last 10 years. US carriers continue to shrink their international presence due to an inability to compete against the government-owned airlines that are selling their product for cheaper than the cost to produce it. Which is i
llegal worldwide, it's called product dumping.

The US government should ban all state-owned carriers from flying to the US.... Especially Etihad, Qatar and Emirates, who employ a business model that has nothing to do with any concept of fair business practices. In each case the airline involved is shamelessly coddled by its respective home nation. They don't pay taxes, they get to write their own regulations (they get to enforce them as well!), and they get a price break on everything from facilities, to fuel, to wide-body jets which are financed by the U.S. Treasury through the Export-Import Bank.

Furthermore...the middle eastern carriers don't negotiate with their employee groups because unions are illegal where they are headquartered. Even proposing such a thing would get you deported or imprisoned. These DYNASTIC MONARCHIES, AUTOCRACIES have no consideration of human rights. They have every intention of using their artificial advantages to fly to every corner of the world, though they have NO INTENTION of growing beyond a feudalism (circa the 700's) and actually open their closed societies. If you are a US citizen and you have anything to do with these companies...shame on you.