US Airlines Push Back Against Qatar Airways

US Airlines Push Back Against Qatar Airways

US Airlines Push Back Against Qatar Airways

US Airlines Push Back Against Qatar Airways: – Airline industry insiders are furious with Qatar Airways and its CEO after a tape revealed that he had called airlines in the United States “crap” and made sexist and ageist comments about their flight attendants.

According to Bloomberg News, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker was speaking to a group in Ireland last week during a celebration of a new flight route between Dublin and Doha when he started running down U.S. airlines.

“By the way, the average age of my cabin crew is only 26 years,” Al Baker said to the crowd gathered for the festivities. “So there is no need for you to travel on these crap American carriers. You know you’re always being served by grandmothers on American Airlines.”
In response, two airline unions in the U.S., the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA) and the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), have spoken out about the comments and fully condemn the misogynistic remarks.
“Straight from Akbar Al Baker lips, he confirms what AFA has said all along: Qatar Airways thrives on misogyny and discrimination. Qatar is not only seeking to choke out U.S. Aviation, but also the 300,000 good jobs built through opportunity created on the principle of equality,” AFA President Sara Nelson said in a statement. “There is no room for a separation of humanity in air travel or in an emergency. Flight Attendants are onboard to save lives and every life counts. If you prop up Qatar Airways you are supporting sexism, racism and ageism.”

“The head of Qatar Airways sunk to a new low recently when he disparaged hard-working U.S. crewmembers and airlines that represent $1.5 trillion in economic activity,” ALPA President Tim Canoll said in a statement. “Akbar Al Baker’s sexist and degrading remarks are an affront to our core values as a country, and he owes U.S. airline workers an apology.”

Ater the strong backlash, Al Baker has responded with an apology.

“I should like to apologize unreservedly to those offended by my recent remarks which compared Qatar Airways cabin crew with cabin crew on US carriers,” he said in a statement. “The remarks were made informally at a private gala dinner, following comments about the Qatar Airways cabin service and were in no way intended to cause offense. This is a time of strong rivalry between our airline and the US carriers and we are of course immensely proud of our own cabin crew. However, cabin crew are the public face of all airlines and I greatly respect their hard work and professionalism. They play a huge role in the safety and comfort of passengers, irrespective of their age or gender or familial status. I have worked for many years in the industry, and I have a high regard for the value that I see long-serving staff members bringing through their experience and dedication.”

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