CLOSE

The chief of Qatar Airways accuses American carriers complaining over alleged subsidies to Gulf airlines of ‘bullying,’ as he announces new US routes in defiance of mounting airport restrictions.
Video provided by AFP
Newslook

Qatar Airways said San Francisco as its newest U.S. destination, revealing those plans Monday along with 11 other new destinations the carrier intends to add to its route map.

The airline’s San Francisco service would begin “in 2018,” though it did not offer a specific launch date or schedule details.

Still, Qatar Airways’ plan to expand its U.S. service comes just days after bigger Gulf rival Emirates said it would pare its schedule to the United States by about 20%. Emirates cited declining demand to the U.S. in the wake of a new electronics ban for carry-ons and broader attempts by the Trump administration to restrict travelers from several Muslim-majority nations.

Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker acknowledged uncertainty about travel to the U.S. is “affecting the business, but to a very small extent.”

TODAY IN THE SKYQatar Airways is world’s first airline to get the Airbus A350 (story continues below)

Autoplay

Show Thumbnails

Show Captions

“We didn’t have massive decline like other carriers so we still have robust loads to the United States and we will continue our commitment to our passengers in the United States,” Al Baker said to The Associated Press.

As for San Francisco, it would be Qatar Airways’ 12th U.S. destination, though the carrier has a mixed track record of following through on its initially stated timelines for new service.

For example, the city that would be Qatar Airways’ 11th U.S. destination – Las Vegas – remains on the drawing board despite being mentioned as a new destination by the carrier’s outspoken CEO as far back as 2016.

Despite initially signaling the service would begin in 2017, Qatar Airways eventually pushed that to 2018, saying Las Vegas flights would launch on Jan. 8. The service was indeed available for sale on the company’s website as of Monday (April 24) morning, but now comes into question following new comments by the company’s boss.

TODAY IN THE SKY: Qatar Airways is world’s first airline to get the Airbus A350 (story continues below)

Autoplay

Show Thumbnails

Show Captions

Al Baker said Monday during a regional travel exhibition in Dubai that the Las Vegas route would be delayed until later this year, according to Reuters. Al…