Qatar Airways who are currently the only Middle Eastern airline to serve the state of Florida is bumping its service to Miami up from 5 times weekly to daily beginning in the winter of 2015. The carrier is a state owned and funded airline. The Emirate of Qatar boasts the world’s largest reserves of natural gas, but has elicited controversy for its labor practices and currently finds itself under an intense media microscope in the west.
The Emirate of Qatar has come under lots of public criticism in the west recently. Since being awarded the right to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup beating out the United States, Japan, South Korea and Australia, the nation faced a great deal of scrutiny. For years, as a South Asian I have been aware of the types of abusive labor practices that border on slavery which are practiced in Qatar and other Gulf states. Finally, after years of little or no press attention the western media is paying attention in a big way.
Just this past week it was revealed Nepali laborers died on the job at a rate of one every two days this past year in Qatar. It is important note that this report does not include guest workers from Pakistan, India or Bangladesh thus the rate could in fact be one or more deaths on average per day. The nation has also been accused with justification of bribery related to the World Cup, though FIFA has attempted to stonewall release of evidence related to Qatar’s winning bid.
The airline which is one of the fastest growing full service network carriers in the world recently took delivery of an Airbus A 350 aircraft. Qatar Airways is serving as launch customer for the European-built airliner which will compete with Boeing’s very successful 787 Dreamliner. They are a member of the One World alliance which also includes American Airlines and British Airways.