The open sky policy, which is respected by both Qatar and the US, gives the national carrier Qatar Airways the right to expand in the United States, said airline Group Chief Executive Akbar al-Baker.

“We have an open sky policy, which is respected by both the US and Qatar governments. It gives us the right to expand…it even gives us the right to come here with intermediate point with fifth freedom,” al-Baker told Gulf Times at the Boeing production facility in Everett, Washington.

“It (open sky policy) gives us the right to go beyond with the fifth freedom traffic, but as Qatar Airways we are interested to fly point to point. At the moment, we are not interested to come to the United States, via a third country.

“So, I don’t think there is any issue, which stops us from expanding,” al-Baker said.

As “stated earlier”, al-Baker said Qatar Airways would be flying to two other US destinations shortly.

“We will be going to Las Vegas…and we will be going to San Francisco. And we will be going to a couple of other destinations soon. I am not prepared to divulge, because I don’t want to give sleepless nights to the three American airlines once again.”

US carriers’ Delta, United and American are lobbying the Trump administration to curtail Qatar’s access to the United States market, citing unfair subsidies.

“The US carriers should just shut up and mind their own business…they should compete with us on providing quality and competitive service to passengers,” al-Baker said.

Meanwhile, a Qatar Airways statement said it has a host of exciting new destinations planned for the remainder of this year and 2018, including Canberra (Australia), Chiang Mai (Thailand) and Mombasa (Kenya).

A member of the oneworld global alliance, Qatar’s national carrier is one of the fastest-growing airlines operating one of the youngest fleets in the world.

Now in its 20th year of operations, Qatar Airways has a modern fleet of 200 aircraft flying to business and leisure destinations across six continents. 

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