Mr. Akbar Al Baker is not a man easily intimidated as the this CNN interview shows. One has to be sympathetic to the position he finds himself in. Politics has intefered in a most unpleasant way. As he points out, they had no warning. But the airline has adjsuted remarkably. They still fly, and plan to keep growing. This is truly a brave face.
It is interesting to note that the Paris Air Show guide shows only one aircraft from the sirline coming this year. Usually there are five. Given the sanctions, the airline is now a critical part of the small nation’s pipeline of supplies. Every aircraft is needed. Perhaps one might think of it as a one airline Qatar Airlift. Bringing no aircraft to the show would send a signal of weakness; having at least one on site shows perseverance.
Mr. Al Baker is being tested like never before. Even his staff are fair game, as competitors try to poach them. Meanwhile, just to rub everyone’s nose in in the dirt, Qatar Airways released spectacular financial results. They are not down and certainly not out.