Qatar Airways’ CEO Al Baker: European airlines are “inefficient”, expands flights to Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport and Edinburgh

Qatar CEO Al Baker

Qatar Airways‘ (Doha) CEO Akbar Al Baker in an interview with AFP and quoted by, termed European airlines as being “inefficient”. The comment came in response to complaints by European carriers, especially Air France-KLM, of unfair competition from the Gulf’s “Big Three”.

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In other news, Qatar Airways will expand its flights to Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport from March 29, 2015, as it increases its frequency to a double-daily service.

The new daily flight, operated by a two-class, Airbus A320 aircraft, will depart Doha at 0945, arriving in Sabiha Gökçen Airport at 1400 and return from Sabiha Gökçen Airport at 1500, arriving back in Doha at 1855.

Qatar Airways recently celebrated its 10 years of successful operations to Turkey. The airline began services to Istanbul Ataturk International Airport in 2004 marking Qatar Airways’ first destination in Turkey, and due to popular passenger demand has been steadily increasing its number of flights to the country.

Qatar Airways currently operates to three destinations in Turkey – Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport (daily flights), Istanbul Ataturk Airport (10-flights-a-week) and Ankara (four-weekly-flights).

The nonstop four-flights-a-week service from Doha to Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport was launched on May 22nd this year, marking Qatar Airways’ addition of its third route to Turkey. Due to an increase in demand, Qatar Airways added three additional flights from October 26 to Sabiha Gökçen Airport, marking the launch of daily flights to the airport.

Qatar Airways will also operate a daily nonstop scheduled service from Doha’s Hamad International Airport to Edinburgh Airport from May 1, 2015. The announcement comes just six months after the successful launch of the five-weekly service on the route and reinforces the airline’s commitment to add additional frequencies on the route, which it announced at the launch.

The daily QR 027 outbound service and QR 028 inbound service is operated by a Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Edinburgh is Qatar Airways’ third destination in the UK, preceded by London in 1997 and Manchester in 2003. The airline currently operates six flights a day from London Heathrow nonstop to Doha, including ‘Business One’, the all-business class A319. The airline also operates 10 flights per week from Manchester nonstop to Doha.

Photo: CEO Al Baker (Qatar Airways).

Qatar Airways aircraft slide show: AG Slide Show