Qatar Airways chief blasts flights ban after ‘being there for the individuals of Australia’ throughout COVID

Qatar Airways has branded the Albanese authorities’s determination to dam further flights to Australia “very unfair” after the airline helped get Australians house throughout the pandemic.

Federal Transport Minister Catherine King denied a request from the Gulf state provider to double its 28 weekly providers to Australia amid Qantas opposition.

Analysts have stated the additional Qatar Airways flights would have elevated competitors and lowered airfares.

The airline’s chief govt Akbar al Baker broke his silence on Saturday, telling CNN he was “very shocked” the rights have been blocked.

“We discovered it to be very unfair, our reliable request to be not granted, particularly at a time after we have been so supportive of Australia,” he stated.

Qatar has been praised for sustaining flights into and out of Australia throughout the pandemic, even when home carriers stopped flying.

“(We have been) repatriating stranded residents from around the globe to and out of Australia, serving to them receiving medical provides and spare elements, and so forth, throughout the COVID interval, when the nationwide provider and their companions utterly stopped working in Australia.

Senate listening to looms

“We have been there for the individuals of Australia.”

The feedback come earlier than a Senate committee this week holds an inquiry into why the extra flights have been blocked.

Committee chair Bridget McKenzie slammed Ms King for refusing to launch paperwork detailing the federal government’s determination.

“It’s surprising that Transport Minister Catherine King waited till parliament rose to inform us that she’s going to no longer be disclosing recommendation from her division on why she blocked extra Qatar Airways flights based mostly on ‘public curiosity immunity’,” Senator McKenzie stated on Friday.

Ms King has beforehand supplied a variety of rationales behind the choice to say no Qatar’s request, together with invasive physique searches carried out on Australian ladies at Doha’s Hamad Worldwide Airport, lowering emissions and defending the nationwide curiosity.

Authorities Providers Minister Invoice Shorten stated the minister needed to weigh up everybody’s pursuits, not only a specific business operation sponsored by one other authorities.

“Everybody clearly desires cheaper airfares, however I don’t assume that it’s so simple as simply saying, ‘Effectively that’s going to be completed in a single day with giving the Qatari authorities what they need after they flip up’,” he advised Sky Information on Sunday.