BRUSSELS: Chief Executive of Qatar Airways, Akbar Al-Baker has called on the European Parliament to “find a settlement that would put an end to the blockade imposed on Qatar” stressing that Qatar Airways “have stood in the face of this siege in order to protect the state, people, economy and travellers”.
Speaking before the European Parliament’s Committee on Transport and Tourism in Brussels al- Baker said that Qatar Airways had suffered losses due to the blockade, adding that the airline has a strong economic presence in the European Union and provides direct jobs to 1,100 EU residents and has signed €27 billion with Airbus.
Al Baker considered that “all attempts by the blockade countries to isolate Qatar has failed, however, he pointed out that last year, the month of Ramadan witnessed a disturbance in the flow of goods and basic supplies, due to the blockade and Saudi Arabia’s closing of land ports with Qatar.
He also pointed out that the blockade imposed on Qatar has reduced the number of daily flights from 600 to 440 flights.
The head of Qatar Airways said the company’s offices were closed in the siege countries by force and without warning.
He expressed his disappointment at the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) position stressing that the organization should work to open navigational routes for Qatar Airways over the blockade countries and not just alternative routes.
Al- Baker is the first senior official from an airline outside the European Union to deliver a speech at a meeting for the Committee on Transport and Tourism.