Qatar’s national carrier became wholly government-owned following last year’s leadership transition, the company’s CEO has said.
The airline has previously alluded to the change in Arabic signage around Qatar, and confirmed the move to Doha News last fall. But this is the first time Akbar Al Baker has publicly spoken about the restructuring.
Before the new Emir assumed power from his father, Qatar Airways was half-owned by the country’s former prime minister, Hamad Bin Jassim Al Thani (also known as HBJ) and other stakeholders.
Their stake was bought out by the government, and the airline had a new commercial registration issued in July, Al Baker confirmed today while speaking at a press conference at the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai.
The former PM, once a highly visible and vocal representative of Qatar, appeared to have left the spotlight when Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani became Emir in June 2013.
HBJ had also been the country’s foreign minister and chief executive of the Qatar Investment Authority (QIA). His roles have been filled by Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser Al Thani (PM); Dr. Khalid bin Mohammad Al-Attiyah (foreign minister); and Ahmad al-Sayed (managing director and CEO of QIA).
Qatar Airways’ status as a government-owned entity has made it a target of criticism from US and European airlines who say they can’t compete on equal footing, a claim Al Baker has scoffed at in the past.
At home, the change caused rumors to resurface that the Qatar Distribution Company (QDC), which is owned by Qatar Airways and the main distributor of alcohol in the country, would be shut down (it wasn’t).
Qatar Airways is not a publicly listed company on the stock exchange and does not regularly disclose financial information. However, Al Baker also said today that the airline plans to disclose its 2013 profit figures before September.
The CEO also lauded last week’s opening of the new, much-delayed Hamad International Airport, and reiterated that Qatar plans to receive its first Airbus A380 in early June, the first of 13 such aircraft on order.
The world’s biggest passenger airliner will fly from Doha to London, and can seat up to 517 people.
HBJ is a smart investor.
How much shopping can you get on an A380?
Cant QDC be run on its own so the guys who run it can be aware about the needs and requirements of the local residents and leave QA to be run by the guy who is running it now. Planes and booze certainly don’t go togather
No leave it be, we need the cargo planes to bring in the grog. Don’t suggest any change or even mention QDC. Not seen, not heard, then not thought about is my theory. Imagine Doha life without a little tipple every now and then……shhhhhhhhhhh
So an Al Thani owned 50% and now he doesn’t, as the government bought him out which is headed by lots of Al Thanis. I’m so confused.
I, for one, find that all things overseen and operated by the government go smoothly and without hiccups. What a relief that an airline will be run by the government! I enjoy the efficiency and involvement of police, I look forward to more civil defense operations and overnight sweeping change, effective road construction and traffic control and the opportunity to visit government offices and I’m always giddy when arriving at immigration! All fantastic!
So will they now have to comply with International rules and regulations concerning Government subsidies of Nationally owned Airlines? I assume that there are rules and regulations?
…and even so the first QA A380 will still smell bad and food will as food will be as tempting as the best prison food ever!
thats the first meal you get while you fly out of an open prison.. he he he…