Growing market for ‘ultra long-haul aircraft’

Al Baker

QATAR Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker says the industry will continue to see an influx of ultra long-haul aircraft that will further open up a new era in air travel.

“Non-stop flights between Asia and the US are already possible. Additional non-stop capacity is being introduced between India and Europe which will not have a deterrent effect on the business of Gulf airlines such as Qatar Airways,” he said. “We at Qatar Airways find these changes very encouraging. They make us feel comfortable because in a new world, we have borders for air travel being relaxed and opening up to more competition which has to be good for the travelling public.”
Al Baker was speaking a seminar to aviation professionals in Mumbai on the future of the airline industry in an extremely competitive environment. He said that while the Indian aviation scene was experiencing significant growth and was beginning to mirror developments in North America and Europe where consolidation has been prevalent. “Mergers, acquisitions, takeovers – you name it, this has been happening in North America and Europe, and now beginning to take place in India. I believe consolidation is inevitably an issue that will dominate the global aviation industry over the next few years,” he said, adding that airlines with clever marketing tactics, powerful passenger loyalty schemes and a strong sales network will be the ones that survive.