Qatar Airways is still flying, but warns its running out of cash - Brisbane Times

The state-owned carrier is operating flights to Europe, Asia and Australia, repatriating people who have been left stranded after many countries shut their borders.

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“We will fly as long as it is necessary and we have requests to get stranded people to their homes, provided the airspace is open and the airports are open,” Baker said.

However, he warned that the airline was burning through cash and only had enough to sustain operations for a “very short period”.

“We will surely go to our government eventually,” Baker added.

He declined to say when the airline would need state aid, which could come in the form of loans or equity, but said it was taking measures to conserve cash.

Employees have taken paid and unpaid leave voluntarily and Baker said he had forfeited his salary until the airline returned to full operations. Staff would not be forced to take pay cuts, though Baker said some had offered to do so.

Qatar Airways' chief executive Akbar al-Baker says the company is running low on cash.

Qatar Airways’ chief executive Akbar al-Baker says the company is running low on cash.Credit:Bloomberg

The airline had said before the pandemic it would report a loss this financial year because of a regional political dispute that forced it to fly longer, more expensive routes to avoid airspace that it had been banned from using by some of neighbouring countries.

Rivals Emirates and Etihad Airways, of the United Arab Emirates, have grounded passenger operations, which Baker said had not benefited his airline.

Qatar Airways has been operating some flights at 50 per cent occupancy or
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