Plane talking: A chat with a Qatar Airways executive

Amid the pandemic, one airline has been bucking the capacity trend. Gordon Smith spoke to Thierry de Bailleul, Qatar Airways’ VP of sales for Europe, about the carrier’s bold approach

Thierry de Bailleul has worked in the airline industry for more than 30 years

Pub quizzes. Remember them? Depending exactly when and where you’re reading this, these illustrious gatherings of inquisitive minds might just be springing back to life after a long winter of government-mandated hibernation. For anyone who’s feeling a little out of practice, here’s a nugget of aviation trivia to help you get back into the swing of things: ‘Over the past year, which airline has flown more cross-border seats, over a greater distance, than any other?’ It’s likely that the usual suspects will spring to mind – perhaps Emirates with all those A380s? American leveraging a strong vaccine rollout? Or maybe China Southern has raced ahead of the curve? The answer – according to data from analytics firm OAG – is Qatar Airways.

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