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No love lost between key Gulf aviation rivals

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(eTN) – When Emirates launched their global sales campaign on Boxing Day, travelers from around the world flocked to their travel agents or booked online with up to 25 percent knocked off the cost of

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(eTN) – When Emirates launched their global sales campaign on Boxing Day, travelers from around the world flocked to their travel agents or booked online with up to 25 percent knocked off the cost of a ticket.

Not so in Qatar, where it was just learned authorities banned Emirates from advertising, promoting, and selling their special deals, as “no regulatory” approvals had been obtained. It is understood that there is no time left until the campaign will expire to re-do the entire campaign while awaiting regulatory approvals, so Emirates dropped the promotion in Qatar for good.

Both Qatar Airways and Emirates are pursuing partly similar and partly different expansion policies, and while Qatar Airways made that ambition known quite a few years after Emirates had gone on the prowl already, Qatar Airways has made substantial inroads in terms of global market share and, most notably, has outdone their Dubai-based rivals by capturing the “Airline of the Year” award by SkyTrax, now proudly wearing the bumper sticker “The World’s 5 Star Airline.”

Emirates is said to be quietly fuming over the development, while Qatar Airways will probably quietly smile, although the two are not likely to trade open exchanges over the faux pas, since technically this decision has been taken by the Qatari Civil Aviation Authority, in spite of the interlinkages known from the Gulf where “Incorporated” can be truly put behind the name of both Dubai and Qatar.

The reality, though, is that when it comes to cementing their aspirations for global leadership in aviation vis-a-vis the rest of the world, the two, and their nearest other rivals Etihad and Gulf Air, are standing united as one, even though the Gulf’s internal competition is as intense as ever for superiority competitive advantages and scooping the latest PR coup in the global media. That said, here Qatar Airways’ Chief Executive Al Baker normally dwarfs his rivals with his witty yet often controversial comments, about the “old aviation giants” from Europe and North America and about the leading aircraft manufacturers, all of whom have learned to watch out for a thorough tongue lashing, before the champagne corks pop again soon afterwards, celebrating new orders.

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About the author

editor

Editor in chief is Linda Hohnholz.