Qatar Airways CEO threatens to halt Airbus orders if slots denied

Qatar Airways CEO threatens to halt Airbus orders if slots denied
Qatari men take pictures after the Airbus A320 aircraft chartered by Qatar Airways landed at Doha's Hamad International Airport.

FRANKFURT - Qatar Airways could reconsider ordering Airbus aircraft if it could not obtain landing rights - or slots - at European airports, Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker told a German newspaper in an interview.

"If they (European airport slots) are limited further, we will stop buying European aircraft. We have 186 orders at Airbus. What impact would that have on German jobs?" the Handelsblatt daily quoted Al Baker as saying in its Tuesday edition.

Fast-growing Middle East airlines such as Qatar and Emirates have said that European governments were seeking to restrict fair competition by giving airlines based closer to home preference when awarding airport slots.

Emirates has sought for years to obtain permission to fly to Berlin and Stuttgart in Germany, and Al Baker told Handelsblatt that he had been approached by representatives of airports in Hamburg and Duesseldorf asking for Qatar to add routes there.

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