The ever-animated CEO of Qatar Airways is back, this time with a dire warning for the airline industry.
Qatar Airways CEO Warns Of Grim Future For Worldwide Airline Industry
Speaking on CNBC, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker warned:
“The worst is not behind any airline, not only Qatar Airways. There will soon be other bailouts in Europe, there will be other collapses around the world. Because of the second wave, I think it is…even more severe than in the first wave.”
Adding an ominous warning about monopolies, Al Baker added:
“I think that there will be more reduction in capacity, which in a way is also not good for the traveling public because then it will give a monopolistic situation to certain airlines that exactly wanted this to happen.”
He also doesn’t believe in travel bubbles:
“Okay if you don’t want to import people, but people want to leave the country, so they should be allowed to do so. That is not happening. You know, this notion of creating bubbles is really, in my opinion, a nonsense.”
And warns of particularly bad losses for Qatar Airways:
“I need to tell you that our losses will continue because every single airline in the world will continue to lose money because there are no more passengers to carry,” he said, adding: “Or there are big numbers of passengers to carry like we are actually carrying, but the traffic is one way because most of the countries have kept their airports closed.”
Which will necessitate more bailouts, a pattern he expects to see around the world:
“Every country in the world depends on their national carrier to serve the economic interests of the country. So it is absolutely important that governments stand with the airlines. I don’t know if the answer would be nationalization because they are funding hugely private airlines.”
Recovery will not come for 3-5 years:
“I think that if this pandemic spreads further into the near future, that the recovery could be even beyond 2024. I don’t think it’ll be 10 years, but it will certainly be between three and five years.”
We often laugh about Al Baker’s antics, but he’s an industry veteran who also offers a lot of wisdom.
Already, 43 airlines have folded around the world this year. With a bleak winter coming, I don’t think his doomsday perditions are unreasonable. We all certainly hope he is wrong, but let’s see how these next few months play out.
Do you think Al Baker is being far to pessimistic concerning the worldwide airline industry?