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Posted On: 15 February 2012 10:52 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:11 pm

Qatar Airways CEO warns of 'strong recession'

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Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker said on Tuesday he expects a “strong recession” that will sap global air-travel demand. “We will be affected by at least 5 percentage points in loss of passenger numbers,” Al Baker said in a Bloomberg Television interview in Singapore. “As in any other recession, all classes will be affected.” A European sovereign debt crisis is sapping global economic growth, contributing to China’s exports falling for the first time in two years in January and causing Japan’s economy to contract in the fourth quarter of last year. The slowdown has already hit airlines, causing Spanish carrier Spanair and Hungary’s Malev to halt operations. “There will be a strong recession,” Al Baker said. “There’s some stability in Asia, but going forward we believe we will be affected like any other airline.” Al Baker also he said expected Airbus would resolve an issue with A380 planes that has caused wing-rib feet to crack. Fissures have been found in planes used by Singapore Airlines and Qantas Airways. “It’s a relatively new aircraft and like any new machines it will have problems,” Al Baker said. “I’m sure Airbus will overcome this.” Qatar has ordered 10 A380s. Airbus is yet to begin building the aircraft, Al Baker said.