According to a press invite received by Travel Market Report, Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Akbar Al Baker, is headed to New York City "to usher in a historic moment in American aviation" on Dec. 9.
The invitation states, "We're under strict orders not to reveal the particulars just yet, but we will messenger over the full details to attendees as we approach the date." It calls Al Baker's visit "a pivotal announcement." Other topics the CEO will discuss will include US growth outlook, fleet strategy, Open Skies and the future of commercial travel in the US.
The fast expanding Doha-based carrier is currently embroiled in what has been a nasty dispute over alleged subsidies with American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines. The row has included CEO name calling between Al Baker and Delta's Richard Anderson, although the most recent exchange was between Anderson and Emirates CEO Tim Clark after the aforementioned dropped its Atlanta-Dubai route.
Qatar has been increasing its presence globally, and in North America with new routes and extra flights. Last year, it also purchased a minority interest on Oneworld partner British Airways. Based on past experience, an Al Baker major announcement can entail anything from a major aircraft order to new menus by celebrity chefs. It also comes right after the upcoming launch of A380 flights to the U.S. by gulf rival Etihad Airways.