Qatar Airways Has ‘Absolute’ Confidence in Cathay Pacific
Qatar Airways has confidence that its partner Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd. will overcome the crisis wrought by the coronavirus pandemic, after shareholders of the Hong Kong-based carrier approved a plan to avoid collapse.
“I have absolute confidence in every airline that we have invested,” Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said in an interview with Bloomberg TV. Cathay has stated its intention to continue operations in Hong Kong and to resume growth, Al Baker said.
Cathay’s shareholders -- Qatar Airways owns a 10% stake -- approved a $5 billion rescue plan backed by the government that includes the sale of preference shares and a rights issue.
In the wake of an International Court of Justice ruling this week, Al Baker said the question of when Qatar Airways will be able to resume flying over four countries that have banned it from their airspace -- Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt -- is “with the ICAO.”
The court on Tuesday gave the International Civil Aviation Organization jurisdiction to oversee negotiations on the dispute, which affects Qatar-registered aircraft in skies controlled by the four boycotting countries.
By closing the airspace, the Saudi-led bloc is going against the terms of the Chicago Convetion signed by the four states, Al Baker said.
Al Baker also said he notified Airbus SE and Boeing Co. of a delay in aircraft deliveries by several years. The CEO had demanded flexibility from the duoploy, threatening both that they would lose the Doha-based carrier as a customer.
When asked where else he would buy planes, Al Baker responded: there are “a million ways to skin the cat.”
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