Delta CEO Backpedals On Comments Linking Persian Gulf Airlines And 9/11


It hasn’t been a good week for Delta’s CEO Mr. Anderson that was linking on CNN’s Quest Means Business Gulf Airlines and 9/11 attacks.


Now, Delta Air Lines has apologized if anyone was offended by the remarks Mr. Anderson made.

You can watch the CNN video on the earlier piece I wrote here and access the latest CNN video here if it doesn’t open up above.

Here’s an excerpt from the CNN piece:

This is where things began to go off the rails for Delta and its CEO Richard Anderson. On Monday he said that it was “a great irony” for Middle Eastern airlines to bring up the post-9/11 government assistance, especially since the terrorists who flew planes into New York’s World Trade Center were from the Arabian Peninsula.

But it’s not clear exactly what he meant. He said: “And it’s a great irony to have the United Arab Emirates from the Arabian Peninsula talk about that, given the fact that our industry was really shocked by the terrorism of 9/11, which came from terrorists from the Arabian Peninsula, that caused us to go through a massive restructuring.”

Delta (DAL) apologized Wednesday for Anderson’s remarks, which he made on CNN’s “Quest Means Business.”

Emirates has released the following statement:

Emirates rejects the apology issued by Delta Air Lines in response to comments made by its CEO on Monday 16th February which intimated a link between the Gulf carriers and the 9/11 attacks. We believe that the statements made this week by Mr. Anderson were deliberately crafted and delivered for specific effect. This brings into question his credibility as a CEO of a US public listed company, as well as the integrity of the submission which his airline has submitted to the US authorities.


American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines are all lobbying the United States government together trying to restrict the growth/open skies agreement between these countries. I believe that these unwise statements by the Delta’s CEO Mr. Anderson are just hurting their cause.

You can criticize the Gulf Airlines and countries as a whole for employment conditions and treatment. You cannot escape the fact, however, that the service in all classes on Emirates, Etihad and Qatar are way better than on any of the three US airlines that are trying to curtail the growth of their Gulf rivals.

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