Even with the mounting restrictions on airline travel between Middle Eastern countries and the United States, Qatar Airways has announced Monday that they would be expanding new routes in the U.S. A new San Francisco route is in the works and next year they would also be adding a new Las Vegas route.
The announcement came from Qatar Airways' CEO itself Akbar al-Baker, in front of the reporters at the Arabian Travel Market convention in Dubai. According to New York Daily News, aside from expanding to new U.S. routes, Al-Baker also mentioned the "bullying" they, along with other Gulf Airlines, Emirates, and Etihad, are currently receiving from US carriers Delta, United, and other members of The Partnership for Open and Fair Skies.
These Gulf airlines are being accused by the three main US carriers that they are constantly profiting from government subsidies to operate and expand their transcontinental networks. An open letter to US president Donald Trump has been sent and published last March for this very reason, according to Travel and Leisure.
But according to Al-Baker, all these allegations were nonsense and they have never received any form of government subsidies. He is also confident that Trump wouldn't buy into these false accusations. "President Trump is a wise individual and a very good businessman, and I don't think he will buy into bullying by the three American carriers," he said.
The recent ban on electronics during flights have impacted Qatar, Etihad, and Emirates with significant losses. Emirates have slashed 20 percent of their United States flights last week due to "weakened travel demand", but Qatar answered with pushing through new routes to the U.S, and the rest of the world as well.
Al-Baker also added that Qatar Airways would never offload a passenger if a flight was full, as their policy dictates to never remove passengers off flights even if it is the CEO who wants to travel. He was referring to the viral incident involving United Airlines and the violently-dragged off passenger, Mr. Dao.