Qatar Airways chief executive Akbar Al Baker told the paper that by handling daily flights to and from the Gulf in a joint venture arrangement, the two airlines could share income and costs.
In a few weeks, on 16 June 2015, Qatar Airways will begin daily passenger flights linking Qatar’s capital city Doha and Amsterdam Schiphol airport .
Air France-KLM already operates the route. European airlines, like their US counterparts, are wary about the expansion of Gulf carriers, claiming Middle Eastern airlines receive unfair financial support from their governments – a charge the Middle Eastern airlines vehemently deny.
Earlier this month, the Dutch government intervened to stop the expansion of Gulf airlines at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport because of perceived unfair competition with Air France-KLM.
It froze landing rights for Gulf airlines.
Despite this, Al Baker says there is enough market growth for two daily flights.
“There is room for both of us because of destinations in, for instance, India and the US to which passengers can transfer,” he told the paper.
Qatar Airways is bigger than KLM at Schiphol in freight transport, and passengers are a side issue, according to the paper.
The European Union is currently negotiating an air treaty with the Gulf states which includes clauses on state financing, the paper says.
Written by Peter Needham