In a recent interview with IATA, the International Air Transport Association, Qatar Airways CEO, H.E. Akbar Al-Baker had a lot to say about what the future holds. He acknowledges that the aviation industry is highly dynamic, and so airlines have to keep up, by adapting and changing. Only then can they stay on top.
Qatar Airways will continue to expand
Qatar Airways has grown significantly in recent years, and this is set to continue with further investment in the stunning and award-winning hub in Doha, and a focus on high levels of customer service. Al-Baker believes that customer loyalty is one of the driving factors for airline growth, so along with ensuring that every aspect of the customer journey is comfortable, efficient and enjoyable, a greater choice of routes are also a pull for flyers and so extra routes are being added with more planned in the near future.
Further investment in cargo transportation
Qatar Airways is also a major player in cargo with the capacity to transport live animals, pharmaceuticals and perishable items. A finely tuned system offers expert handling and Al-Baker states that the airline is set to expand in this area too with a second cargo terminal on the horizon.
A new level of experience on the ground
Certified as a 5 Star Airport by Skytrax, Qatar Airways has set a new standard with the Hamad International Airport hub. All air travel begins on the ground, so whether travelling for business or pleasure, an efficient and pleasant airport environment is a big pull for passengers. Al-Baker promises further development of this hub.
Consolidation has been beneficial
Al-Baker spoke at length regarding fragmentation within the aviation industry and beyond and believes this is something that must be overcome in order to bring forth greater harmony. He is a firm believer in giving airlines maximum operational flexibility with the adoption of global standards and smart regulation. He agrees that consolidation has been beneficial to the industry, with joint ventures and equity partnerships being good news for consumers, but he is concerned about the fact that government support can be withdrawn with little notice based on short-term political decisions and calls for governments to understand the benefits of fair and transparent regulations across the industry.