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Yesterday Qatar Airways flew its inaugural flight to Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (ATL) on the airline’s A380 without incident — until it couldn’t find a gate big enough to accommodate it. Out of the more than 200 gates at ATL — the world’s busiest airport and Delta’s busiest hub — only one can handle the super-jumbo jet.
That one gate was apparently being used by “four to six Delta aircraft” at the time that the Qatar A380 with its 517 passengers needed access to a gate. Delta suggested that the Qatar jet could park at a remote stand close to the international terminal and then transfer passengers to the terminal building using buses. In the end, it took around 45 minutes to get all passengers off the aircraft, which is significantly longer than it would take with the multiple jetways that A380s usually employ for boarding and deplaning.
The incident is just one in a string of events that stem from a tense relationship between the two airlines due to disagreements over governments subsidies for Middle East airlines. Last month, Delta said that it would not renew its sponsorship of the Fox Theater in Atlanta after Qatar hosted a party to celebrate its new route at the venue.
What do you think of the ongoing battle between Delta and Qatar?
Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.
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