by Michael Lowrey
Qatar Airways said it may seek to form a breakaway group within the Oneworld alliance, should fellow member American Airlines continue to lend its weight to a US push to curb the growth of Arabian Gulf rivals.
Qatar Airways, which joined Oneworld in 2013, won’t tolerate a situation where “conditions are no longer conducive to a fair business relationship and mutual respect”, chief executive Akbar Al Baker said.
“We don’t get bullied by anybody,” he said at a briefing in Los Angeles, where the carrier began flights from Doha on January 1. “If American does not want to work fairly with us, we will consult the others and we could form our own mini-alliance if we wanted to.”
Analysis: Akbar Al Baker’s threat is just silly, Qatar needs American and Oneworld far more than American needs Qatar.