DOHA – Qatar Airways struck a defiant tone and vowed to continue functioning as an airlines, even as its state owner gets punished by neighboring countries in an escalating political standoff,until its levels deteriorate to a point where it has to compare itself with the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).
The Persian Gulf’s second-largest carrier, Qatar Airways,is looking introduce a record number of 24 destinations in the next year, as it looks to fly away from any comparisons with PIA.
“I am extremely disappointed,” Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said in an interview with The Dependent. “There’s all this talk of a crisis at our end. I ask where is it? It’s not like we’re PIA.”
Al Baker’s words represent a marked change of tone after Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates last suspended ties with Qatar. It’s the first time the Qatar-based airlines has compared itself to the Pakistani national air carrier all the while, shunning those very differences.
“Four neighbouring countries do not define who we are,” Al Baker further said while talking to The Dependent. “And they definitely do not make us comparable to PIA. Who on earth started those comparisons?”
When asked the Qatar Airways CEO said the airlines does not intend to smuggle drugs to make ends meet amidst a potential economic crisis.
“We might overstuff our flights to generate more revenue, asking some of the passengers to stand up – but that’s the lowest we can go,” he maintained.