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Qatar Airways boss accuses Delta of flying 'crap' planes

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“The state of Qatar is the owner of Qatar Airways and whatever funds are put into the airline is as equity, which is quite legitimate.

Clever semantics, but a cash-infusion is a cash-infusion, whether you call it a subsidy or equity. Do people really think the dozens and dozens of new airliners these Gulf carriers are buying are being financed by their own operations/cash flow? Their governments are helping them buy market share, and the U.S. and European airlines and regulators have every reason to look into it.

4 ( +12 / -8 )

I have no idea whether the charges are true and I'm not sure I care, but while being interviewed on Bloomberg TV a week or so ago he had some nasty comments then also. No love lost between him and Delta CEO Anderson. It's a pretty ugly spat.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Well, Delta is phasing out their 747s and I'm glad to see them go. They have an order for 18 brand-new 787s. So I think he's simplifying things a bit. I'd like to see some better service come out of this spat somehow, though. Not sure how that would happen but it will always be my dream.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Well I flew Delta to the States and it was crap, and I flew Qatar to London and it was lovely. I don't care about the behind the scene stuff, just want the best flight for my money. I'd fly Qatar anytime

12 ( +18 / -6 )

Funny how when the 'Americans' were riding high on the hog they couldn't have given a flying F about other countries' airlines suffering such as how American Airlines slowly bled Canadian Airlines dry by giving them support to run a route only then take it away as soon as it became profitable. No the Canadian government didn't help then either. How about here in Japan. Just look at Narita, Osaka and Nagoya and you tell me how does that work when you see a ridiculous proportion of the aircraft at those airports being US air carriers?

Now that other countries' airlines are doing what the Americans have been doing all along, the American airlines get all bent out of shape. What do you think Chapter 11 is all about?!? GROW UP ALREADY!!! Subsidies, cash infusions, bailouts and protection from creditors, all the same in just a different shade of shite.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

So, "U.S. carriers issued a 55-page report", and in response, Qatar Airways issued a sound bite saying "tain't so".

0 ( +4 / -4 )

'turbostat' using your logic it would appear that if you issue a lengthy report then it must be true? That lengthy report was written by the very people whose interests it protects, paid for and for their interests. I'd believe a report if say it came from a group of doctors claiming that cigarettes caused cancer and then the tobacco companies said "it ain't so". See how that creditability of being 'disconnected' from the 'profit' works.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

All I know is that the "fuel surcharge" that airlines charge is nothing but a way for them to get extra cash without paying taxes on it. Those added airline fees they charge are not taxed, so it goes all to the bottom line. So whatever they pay in taxes, in a way they get to recoup some of it with those fees supposedly that are being used for the high cost of fuel.

Some say "tomato" some say "toe mato" but the bottom line, Delta gets about the same amount of treatment that Qatar gets from its government, they (Qatar) just use it better than Delta.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

I don't think Delta was operating any 747s at the time that it absorbed Northwest. Those old 747s it uses now are part of the former Northwest fleet. And NWA did fly crap planes, pieces of which frequently fell off their aircraft and onto farmers' fields in Chiba Prefecture.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Much of the money the Gulf carriers receive is spent on new aircraft made in the USA and Europe. Surely that helps create jobs in those countries? I don't hear any complaints from Boeing or Airbus.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

KnowBetter: ... ....

Except that al-Baker said himself that (emphasis mine):

“We have ultra-modern airplanes. We have invested, my country has invested, huge amounts to make sure we are the lowest CO2 contributor in the aviation industry.”

1 ( +3 / -2 )

GalapogosnoGairaishu-- That's right. They inherited 16 of those from Northwest and they're retiring them in favor of Airbus 330s and 350s. They're flying 13 of them currently. The oldest of those 747s was about 20 years but I will be glad to see them go. They upgraded the interiors but the NW configuration was incredibly uncomfortable. If I'm remembering correctly we flew out on one two years ago. I was super unhappy about it, too, but under Delta it wasn't quite as nasty as I remember the NW ones being. Still, I much prefer the 777. I'd rather all the airlines have the most up-to-date planes available but comfort depends on how they configure the cabins no matter how new the plane is and safety has a lot to do with quality control and maintenance. Some of those new Boeings seems to have battery problems but the A330s have a terrible safety record so far. I hope the A350 is better.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Well it's true. Delta DOES fly crap older planes. Does anybody disagree with that assessment?

11 ( +14 / -3 )

It's not just the airplanes that are crap with Delta, their service, their flight attendants, meals, etc etc etc, are crap.

I never want to fly with them again. Nice to see someone else thinks the same way and calls them out on it. Seems to me that some of these carriers forget what business they are in and think their passengers are no better than cattle.

Excuse me, even cattle get treated better than customers on Delta.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

State-owned and run corporations operating in protected environments are often superior to their private-sector counterparts, and this is proof.

The US airlines' demise in quality, morale and competitiveness occurred from the late 70s, exactly from the point their industry was deregulated. Sometimes free-market policies work, other times they fail horrifically.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

The US airline industry would also benefit immensely by TSA allowing true transit lounges. Currently, if one is transiting in, say, LAX, one has to go through immigration, retrieve luggage, go through customs, walk (often times) to a different terminal, and then board the ongoing flight to, say, Mexico City. No wonder international travelers whose destination is not the USA avoid that place like the plague.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

“I think Mr Anderson (CEO of Delta, Richard Anderson) doesn’t know the difference between equity and subsidy. We never receive any subsidy,”

And the staff is treated with dignity, integrity and their human rights are fully respected...

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Can only add to some of the above posters, with anecdotal comments I've heard from friends over the years - they are crap.

Having not used them myself, so I can't verify that, but the volume of dissent speaks.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Question is whether any of these Gulf airlines make a profit from their operations. If the "equity infusions" are required because they can't finance themselves from their own operations, then i guess they are a form iof subsidy.

Having said that, his comments about the quality of US airlin planes and the service they give are not far off the mark.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Without a doubt that Delta and US airlines in generally do provide not so great service compared to rivals in Asia, no doubt about that!!

BUT Qatar airlines new fleet compared to delta, address the issue, why is that? Qatar airlines was founded in 1993 vs a legacy airline like Delta, and how does Qatar get those brand new airlines, perhaps through these "subsidies" or whatever you like to call them.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

BUT Qatar airlines new fleet compared to delta, address the issue, why is that? Qatar airlines was founded in 1993 vs a legacy airline like Delta, and how does Qatar get those brand new airlines, perhaps through these "subsidies" or whatever you like to call them.

So you give a free pass to Delta because of the age of the company? Age of a company does not always equate to quality.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I think Delta is one crappy airline and I avoid flying them whenever possible. Their CEO is correct in that the UAE airlines get unfair subsidies but it doesn't change the fact that Delta is not a good carrier.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I can't recall the last time I had a positive experience flying a US airline. I use them because they themselves are coddled and protected in my country the US and have landing slots that make it impossible for foreign carriers to compete. Secondly, even if Qatar airlines gets a subsidy that means that I, as an American taxpayer traveler, and getting better product and/or service at the expense of the Qatar government. I don't have a problem with that,,,

4 ( +4 / -0 )

regardless of whether qatar or etihad recieves a subsidy, america is signatory to the open skies pact, which they pushed in order to get market share around the world. now that these middle east airlines are beating them at the game, they want to cry all the way to court.

what's killing airlines in america isn't subsidies but the unions.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Yeah, the unions. If only the unions hadn't deregulated the industry in the 1980s and jacked up fuel prices in the 00s.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Simply put Qatar Airways is an elite group of 5-star airlines and the quality of service, both onboard and on the ground is extremely good. All flights depart on time and arrive ahead of schedule. They have a very friendly staff and delightful crew members. They serve tasty full meals with beverages and multi-course restaurant quality meals on demand which is really great. Unfortunately Delta Airlines has substandard service with frequent cancelled flights and cheap vouchers.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

As passengers should we care about this? All I care about is a nice safe, comfy flight at a decent price. I couldn't care less if the flag carrier airline receives subsidies or whatever. I'm British and don't use BA to fly to Japan purely because it's inconvenient and more expensive than flying by Dutch carrier KLM, which is very convenient for me and their prices are a bargain. In the end that's what matters to me. Subsidies? Couldn't care less.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

All I can say is that the last 2 times I flew to the US on Delta, on our way back we had to wait many hours for a replacement aircraft. Both times! So I guess the guy might have a point.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

What do you think Chapter 11 is all about?!? exactly, American carriers can run huge debt to the point of bankruptsy, knowing that they will be bailed out by the taxpayer, bailed out /subsidies same thing different disguise. now the middle east carriers are basically doing the same thing in disguise as fuel subsidies. the US is crying foul!? hypocrites just a little!?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

How dare he say this? He should apologize to "crap" for comparing it to Delta!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Middle Eastern airlines all above average. US ones below. Agree couldn't care less if they are subsidised or not. From what i can tell US carriers have had plenty of favourable legla and US Govt. treatment over the years and they are still poor.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Well it's true. Delta DOES fly crap older planes. Does anybody disagree with that assessment?

I disagree that, short of demonstrable safety issues, airlines should not be trash-talking.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Personally, I would much rather fly any other Airlines then American own airlines. The planes are cramped and uncomfortable! The few meals you do get are worse then the meals from when I was in high school and the flight attendants forget we are PAYING customers and should be treated with at least a little bit of respect. Almost every foreign airlines I have flown have been clean, more comfortable and most of the meals fairly good! AND, the flight attendants treat you with respect!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

These "multi-billion dollar subsidies" had distorted the marketplace, "to the severe detriment of US employment", the American carriers claimed.

What a bunch of whiners!

Question is whether any of these Gulf airlines make a profit from their operations. If the "equity infusions" are required because they can't finance themselves from their own operations, then i guess they are a form iof subsidy.

It seems that you don't know the meaning of a State-owned company, I do, I work on one, First, they do not receive subsidies, as the gentleman said: it is equity, because all the profits of the company, go to the state, including the ROI of these "infusions", even if they pay taxes, the profit goes to the state, the difference in those two is that the money from taxes goes together with all the taxes and are used for National Budget, whereas the profit from state-owned companies may be used differently of of specific purposes (for example, all the profits goes to University education programs, not true in our case, but just to make an example).

If the State owns a company that does not profit, there might be other reasons to "keep it alive" (increase local employment, protection of the local industry, etc) if you want to know more about that just look at Import substitution industrialization policies in Latin America that took place in the middle of the 20th century.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Flew a Delta A330 from Nagoya to Detroit 3 weeks ago. Food was good, (American) staff were overweight and not polite. I think Delta should start charging their staff extra baggage fees as well since I have to pay it for my suitcases.

The worst was the seats. ABSOLUTELY horrible!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Along with Asian carriers, they are the best in the world. They havent even discussed service, food, lounges. When you do that, US carriers are already below 2nd world status. Anyone who flies frequently knows all of this as common fact. When Americans start to actually realize this mostly what you get is "disturbed silence", then denial, then you hear nonsensical things like "hey, they practice unfair trade". If US carriers werent run by lawyers and didnt pay top executives salaries they couldnt possibly earn in a truly competitive market, and didnt have unionized flight attendents that double as minimum security prison guards, etc....then maybe they should own and run and airline...

United 1K (15 years) and million miler plus (which has become meaningless since, like the man said, US carriers are pitiful...)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I have to echo the sentiments of most here: most, if not all, of America-based airlines are crap. Service, food, comfort, etc., they're just not up to par. Overweight or old (or both) flight attendants who feel you owe them for flying with them. So even if their tickets are cheaper, I avoid them like the plague.

I find that the service with Asia-based airlines like Cathay, ANA, Singapore, Asiana and others is so much better. Also liked Emirates, and have heard good things about Turkish Air. Thank goodness there's plenty of choices out there.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

And this is the reality:

Yes, Qatar Airlines is being supported/subsidised. Doesn't matter whether it is equity, loans, grants or the like. It is state owned and the state has unlimited funds to inject. So, it is a fact. Yes, Qatar Airlines' fleet is much newer/more advanced. Two reasons: their shareholder can inject whatever funds is required, and there is no legacy fleet to replace/upgrade. Service and everything else: No excuse. U.S. airlines are crap. Unions are to blame. As are the companies. As i the stock market. Look, the unions view "international" flights as the perk. Flight attendants with tenure get them. The flight attendants are there for themselves. I had a flight attendant on a Delta flight to Asia who was the oldest flight attendant in the U.S. Which she proudly announced. And what part of this is customer service?!

And the companies don't object,or don't try to break the union.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Delta flies planes we don't even use in Canada, eg air Canada, so part of what he said is true.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I can't speak for all of you who are fond of the "crap" label, but just last October I flew Delta from Atlanta to Narita (747), then from Narita to JFK (777) and as flights go, I've experienced much worse.

“The state of Qatar is the owner of Qatar Airways and whatever funds are put into the airline is as equity, which is quite legitimate.

Dude needs an English lesson: SUBSIDY - a sum of money granted by the government or a public body to assist an industry or business so that the price of a commodity or service may remain low or competitive. This pretty much sounds exactly like what is happening, right? When your government is paying for your airport fees and your aircraft purchases, that's going to keep your operating costs WAY down.

“We have ultra-modern airplanes. We have invested, my country has invested, huge amounts to make sure we are the lowest CO2 contributor in the aviation industry.”

A meaningless statement when your fleet consists of only 147 aircraft and the people you're criticizing have a 789 aircraft fleet. Of COURSE you're going to have a lower CO2 impact because of your miniscule fleet! Your fleet could be belching black smoke on every takeoff and you'd STILL have a lower impact because of your tiny fleet. You are small in all respects.

You're so small, yet you can afford all new aircraft because of (pick one): A. Your impressive service guarantees each flight is packed to the roof. or B. The government keeps dumping "equity" (yeah, RIGHT!) into your airline.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Lazybones. Spot on, Qatar is a good airline, (Emirates is awful and trades on a reputation built when it was new) I have never travelled on a pleasant US airline - AA and Delta are scruffy with staff who can't be bothered.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

We americans need to stop whining and instead tell are parasite incompetent politicians to not take over half the GNP of america in taxes and spending and cause massive inflation because the regulation tossed on so t he politicians can get away with taking half the GNP. I could list law after law that causes inflation but the bottom line is all inflation is caused by government incompetence, interference or the government trying to skim off the top of something. No sorry, inflation is not really caused by scarcity because if something becomes too scarce, we humans go find some other thing to buy. NO again on the gas problems of the 70s, that wasnt inflation because of a lack of oiil, that was inflation caused by US government price fixing and Saudi Government not pumping oil on purpose to raise the price. GOVERNMENT screwing around not scarcity.

Get rid of all that government crap and then Delta and the other american airline companies will actually have enough money to buy new planes, they are crap.

Also, getting rid of all that government crap will likely reduce the amount of money Qatar's government gets from oil, thereby reducing the subsidy to the airline.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

the straw the broke the camel's proverbial back for me was two years ago paying couple grand for a united ticket to chicago and they wanted to charge me in flight 7 dollars for a beer ( i usually have two then go to sleep ) and there was no in flight entertainment to choose, just a few movies played the same for everyone. Couple bucks more now and I use ANA, but then when in the States you are forced to use crap for domestic flights.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

State-owned airlines will always get special treatment from their governments, including pumping it with taxpayer money to make sure it represents its country well as an ambassador. Maybe it's about time the US considers having a national airline that will think beyond just the bottom line that private airlines only do.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

the straw the broke the camel's proverbial back for me was two years ago paying couple grand for a united ticket to chicago and they wanted to charge me in flight 7 dollars for a beer ( i usually have two then go to sleep ) and there was no in flight entertainment to choose, just a few movies played the same for everyone. Couple bucks more now and I use ANA, but then when in the States you are forced to use crap for domestic flights.

Not sure about the domestic flights, but the Delta flights I took to and from Narita last year had unlimited "on demand" in-flight entertainment at every seat and the selection was huge. I watched four movies of my choice in each direction. Can't comment on the beer prices as I drank diet soda and water (both "no charge") during the flights.

State-owned airlines will always get special treatment from their governments, including pumping it with taxpayer money to make sure it represents its country well as an ambassador. Maybe it's about time the US considers having a national airline that will think beyond just the bottom line that private airlines only do.

Not a good idea. They already have a national railroad ("Amtrak") that hasn't gone well for them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Dude needs an English lesson: SUBSIDY - a sum of money granted by the government or a public body to assist an industry or business so that the price of a commodity or service may remain low or competitive. This pretty much sounds exactly like what is happening, right? When your government is paying for your airport fees and your aircraft purchases, that's going to keep your operating costs WAY down.

And you need a Finance lesson: When you inject money to YOUR company, via Capitalization, it is equity.

whatever funds are put into the airline is as equity.

When you put funds, usually you use it to increase your investment on the fixed assets, like the airplanes themselves, cost are lower when you have new assets, since the maintenance costs are lower and the productivity of the asset is better (they use less fuel, for example)

Subsidy, on the other case is a mechanism when you use funds to pay for lower costs, for example, your expenditure on fuel costs are "helped" with funds, this help is a subsidy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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