The war of words between the Gulf and US airlines seems to be getting out of control. Two weeks ago Delta CEO was blaming Gulf countries and their airlines of 9/11 (read more here) and now the CEO of Qatar Airways accuses Delta of flying old crappy planes.
The US airlines started a campaign trying to get their government to renegotiate the open skies agreement between the Gulf countries of United Arab Emirates and Qatar due to alleged subsidies that their airlines receive.
You can access the AFP wire on Yahoo News here of which below is an excerpt:
He also defended Qatar Airway’s record when it comes to CO2 emissions and unflatteringly compared Delta’s aircraft to those of his company when asked about aviation pollution.
“I am delighted that Richard Anderson of Delta is not here. First of all, we don’t fly crap airplanes that are 35 years old. The Qatar Airways average fleet (age) is only fours years and one month,” said Baker.
“We have ultra-modern airplanes. We have invested, my country has invested, huge amounts to make sure we are the lowest CO2 contributor in the aviation industry.”
And he was also damning of those who criticised the aviation industry’s record on environmental pollution.
“People who make lots of noise about CO2, people who make so much noise about greenhouse gases that are emitted from airplane engines, don’t realise that they are constantly travelling by airplane, so they should start walking or going on horseback if they really mean what they say.”
Delta Air Lines is certainly known to fly very old planes and acquire 717’s and 757’s when other airlines are upgrading their fleet. These are certainly gas guzzlers compared to newer ones but is it environmentally more friendly to acquire newer planes rather than using the old ones until the end of their lifecycle?
I would go even further than CEO of Qatar Airways by saying that those who are most vocal about the greenhouse emissions are not even traveling on commercial jets but on private ones causing even more harm.