Qatar Airways CEO throws shade at U.S. cabin crew “grandmothers”
The average age of Qatar Airways' cabin crew is 26

Qatar Airways CEO throws shade at U.S. cabin crew “grandmothers”

DUBLIN — Who would have thought that grandmothers would be front and centre in recent heated wars of words in the airline industry?

Last month Iran came out against U.S. President Donald Trump’s reinstatement of the travel ban, saying the ban targets grandmothers, among other family members. Iran’s foreign minister denounced the partial reinstatement of President Trump’s travel ban as a “truly shameful exhibition of blind hostility to all Iranians” – and a measure that will prevent Iranian grandmothers from seeing their grandchildren in America.

The remarks by Mohammad Javad Zarif came after the Trump administration set criteria for visa applicants from the six Muslim-majority nations and all refugees that require a “close” family or business tie to the United States. On a list of approved family members, the State Department and the Homeland Security Department added “fiancé” to that definition of “close familial relationship” – but not grandparents or grandchildren.

Zarif, who has persistently assailed the travel ban, wrote on his Twitter account that the “U.S. now bans Iranian grandmothers from seeing their grandchildren, in a truly shameful exhibition of blind hostility to all Iranians.”

Now comes a slight from Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker, who took a strip off U.S. airlines and at the same time denigrated grandmothers with his ageist insult. In Ireland at a launch event to mark Qatar Airways’ new Dublin route, Al Baker threw shade at his U.S. competitors and their flight crew, saying the average age of his airline’s cabin crew is 26, so there’s no need to fly with “crap” U.S. carriers “being served by grandmothers.”

Also at the event, he played up the strengths of Qatar’s capital city gateway, Hamad International Airport in Doha. “It’s one of the foremost airports with the most sophisticated security equipment installed. I can say this with confidence because I am also the chief executive of the airport.”

Qatar is one of several Gulf carriers going head to head with the Big 3 U.S. carriers (United, Delta and American Airlines) in a battle over routes and fair competition. Qatar recently announced its intention to buy a stake in American Airlines.