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QUEST MEANS BUSINESS
Trump Greets Airline Chiefs at White House; Outcry as Conway Plugs Ivanka Clothes; Scuffles Mar Jacob Zuma's Speech; Qatar Airways Chief Defiant Over U.S. Rivals Claims;
Aired February 9, 2017 - 16:00:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[16:00:00] RICHARD QUEST, CNN ANCHOR: The bell ringing on Wall Street, the Dow is at a record, they like the sound of what they're hearing and what
they're seeing on Wall Street. We are getting to why the Dow is so strong on today, as trading comes to an end. Oh, look at this. They've clearly
got the bit between the teeth. A robust gavel on Thursday, the 9th of February.
Airline executives land at the White House, but Donald Trump promises a phenomenal future.
Kellyanne Conway is now in trouble after she advertises for Ivanka Trump. And economic freedom fighters land a few punches on the floor of South
Africa's Parliament. A real thrasher. Will have the details.
I'm Richard Quest, tonight, coming to you live from CNN Abu Dhabi, where I still mean business.
Good evening. Donald Trump has promised to do phenomenal things for U.S. airlines. Indeed, for business, generally, as he welcomed aviation
executives to the White House. Now, Mr. Trump wants to help airlines compete, and he said that he was planning to do, in his words, something
phenomenal in terms of tax. Which for the first time, we got some sort of dates, some sort of time scale. He expects an announcement in two to three
As for the industry, itself, he wants to overhaul the obsolete U.S. airport's infrastructure, and he began by acknowledging that there's
trouble brewing with foreign carriers.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
DONALD TRUMP, U.S. PRESIDENT: I know you're under pressure from a lot of foreign elements and foreign carriers. I've been hearing that a little
bit. At the same time, we want to make life good for them, also. They come with big investments. In many cases, those investments are made by
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Donald Trump now, what we are appropriately tonight in the capital, and in the country of two of those airlines, those foreign carriers that he
was talking about, Etihad and Emirates. You're going to hear from the chief exec or the chairman of one. And you're also going to hear tonight
from the chief exec of Qatar airlines. So, we are well positioned to give you the other side of the airline story tonight. Both sides, in fact.
At the White House, Donald Trump was joined by the who's who of aviation executives. In terms of the chief execs, there was Delta's CEO there,
United, JetBlue, Southwest, Alaska, FedEx, U.P.S., and Atlas. Doug Parker of American was absent due to a scheduling clash.
The representatives of airports from Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and Nashville that were also present. Athena Jones joins me from the White
House. Athena, fascinating, because they have -- although there are many areas of controversy, they really needed to stick today to those areas that
the industry could unite behind, not, for example, the issue of open skies and Gulf competition.
ATHENA JONES, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Richard. That's exactly right. The president signaling that he wasn't really prepared to get
involved in those issues U.S. airlines have with those three-big Middle Eastern airlines you mentioned. Qatar Airlines, Etihad and Emirates, that
are heavily subsidized by governments, because the president is arguing, that look, they make big investments in America. They buy jets and jet
engines from American companies like Boeing, like General Electric, and United Technologies. And that produces thousands of jobs.
And so, while you hear a lot of talk about America first, I think the White House would argue that this is putting American jobs first, not getting too
involved on that front. What he did do is make a lot of the same promises we've heard him make to -- in his other meetings with business leaders,
promising to slash regulations, make the biggest cuts in regulations anyone's ever seen. Promising to invest in infrastructure. I know from my
colleague, Rene Marsh, aviation correspondent, that infrastructure was discussed quite a bit. He mentioned at least four times the need to
rebuild America's airports.
And so, those are areas where there is going to be agreement. Investing in infrastructure, updating airports, improving air traffic control systems.
President Trump, of course, used to operate his own east coast shuttle airline, some years back, before it went into bankruptcy. But aviation
experts who were there in that meeting said he appeared knowledgeable about the topic, and he complained a great deal about U.S. airports, how they
used to be the best in the world, but now they're on the bottom rung. So, those are the areas of agreement in that meeting. Richard.
[16:05:15] QUEST: And indeed, he -- talking of air traffic in the U.S., he referred to his own pilot, Donald Trump has his own 757, and he sort of
said -- I mean, listening to the way he was quoting his own pilot, you know, I sort of felt that his pilots who believed that much of the
procurement of new equipment was obsolete. It was almost policy making. How did it strike you?
JONES: It is interesting, the kinds of details that he was able to offer in this meeting. He called his personal pilot a, "real expert." He said
he's a smart guy who knows what is going on. And President Trump said that this pilot of his said that the government had been buying the wrong
equipment. Now, I'm no expert. I don't know exactly what equipment he is referring to there, but that is what he told these aviation execs, when it
comes to some of the things he thinks need to be done to improve the U.S. airports and air traffic control system. Very interesting comments.
QUEST: Athena Jones, thank you.
The chief executive and the chairman of Emirates, has been speaking exclusively to CNN. Sheikh Ahmad says the airline makes an enormous
contribution to the U.S. economy, as it helps to create thousands of jobs. Emirates has spent billions of dollars on planes made by Boeing. Now,
Emirates, you can see the airline, Emirates is the world's largest operator of the 777. It has a variety of variants, the 200, the 300, it's bought be
8 and it's bought the 9X. So, it's about 161 of the 200s and the 300s in service at the moment and 174, including the newest variants later.
Emirates' chairman told me he's not worried about the uproar over open skies.
SHEIKH AHMED BIN SAEED AL MAKTOUM, CHAIRMAN AND CEO EMIRATES: We signed a bilateral with the U.S. in 1999. It was actually the Americans that were
pushing for this agreement to be signed as an open sky policy, which we did. And since then, I mean, we've been operating to the U.S. as of next
March, we'll be operating about 18 flights daily to the U.S. and that's really a big contribution in terms of sums and also, we should be ready to
forget that Emirates had the biggest order on its 777. We nearly invested now over $140 billion in total. That really has created a big number of
jobs within the U.S., when it comes to Boeing or the GE.
QUEST: So, you're not worried, or are you worried, that Donald Trump will decide to reopen the issue of open skies?
SHEIKH AHMED: No, I'm not worried. I think the case, they should look at it in a very open way. I think we've been always transparent, in terms of
the financial that we really put out every year, looking at Emirates and what we've been doing over the years since it started in 1985.
QUEST: Was it wise to announce the launch of the fifth freedom fight over Athens? You may be legally entitled to it, under the treaties with the EU
and the U.S., but it's a bit like poking the bear to sort of just at the wrong moment, isn't it?
SHEIKH AHMED: No, it's not really about poking the bear at the wrong time. As I said, you know, we have a bilateral and this is the way.
QUEST: Well, it's provocative, some would say.
SHEIKH AHMED: No, I don't think so.
QUEST: You don't?
SHEIKH AHMED: No.
QUEST: What about the wider issue now, the immigration ban against the seven countries and the change in the refugee policy. It's been described,
although the administration refuses, as a Muslin ban. How do you see it?
SHEIKH AHMED: You know, when we talk about any country banning people to come in, and not really going into religion here, our service, if we're
talking about the airline, always when people book to us, we don't say what religion you are. You know, our purpose is to take people from point a to
b. You know, I think that's always up to the administration and also to the government of the U.S. and the people of the U.S. it is their decision,
whether they will be coming in or out.
[16:10:08] QUEST: Do you think there are going to be some very difficult times ahead for Emirates in the United States?
SHEIKH AHMED: There shouldn't be. I mean, we do have a good relationship with the U.S. for a long period of time. When it comes to business,
tourists, we've really supported the business. And we always want to see more people going to the U.S., and also vice versa.
QUEST: Now, the lobby group, Partnership for Open and Fair Skies, argues fiercely that state-owned airlines from the Gulf are exploiting their
access to the U.S. market. Joining me from Washington is Jill Zuckerman, the chief spokesperson for the group. Jill, good to see you and thank you
for joining us to talk these matters over.
Jill, you know, I don't really want to get into a he said/she said on the question of subsidies, because that argument is -- we're not going to make
ground on that argument, frankly, since you have a diametrically opposed point of view. But answer the point that they are making, the Gulf
carriers at the moment, that they do contribute sizable sums to the U.S. economy through the purchases of tens of billions of aircraft and avionics
JILL ZUCKERMAN, PARTNERSHIP FOR OPEN & FAIR SKIES: Well, Richard, thanks for having me on, and I would love to address that point. But first, I
just want to say how much American, United and Delta appreciated President Trump taking on this issue and expressing his willingness to help. He's
clearly very knowledgeable about the aviation industry and he understands this issue in particular.
I have to say, it's getting a little tiresome to keep hearing the Gulf carriers say they spend billions of dollars on the U.S. economy, on hiring
Americans, on buying Boeing aircraft. The fact of the matter is, Emirates, Etihad and Qatar employ 1,300 people in the United States. The U.S.
carriers employ 300,000 people in the United States. We are customers of Boeing. We have 585 aircraft on order. The Gulf carriers only have about
500 on order. And if the Gulf carriers continue to undercut us and to take away international routes from the U.S. carriers, then we won't be able to
employ as many people in the United States, and we won't be able to buy as many aircraft from Boeing.
QUEST: Right, but do you -- the argument of jobs, they obviously point out that there is an economic benefit to the places where they bring
passengers, if, for example, in the case of Orlando, Emirates quantifies that as $200 million a year.
ZUCKERMAN: Well, Emirates is using, you know, euphoric figures. Those passengers are our passengers. Those passengers would still get to
Orlando, if Emirates wasn't flying that route. But the real issue is these fifth freedom routes they're flying from Milan to JFK, and now they're
saying they're going to go from Athens to Newark. And they announced that on the third day after President Trump went into office. It was not just a
poke at the bear, it was a sharp stick in the eye.
QUEST: Now, hang on a second, Jill. No U.S. carrier offers year-round service from Athens to the United States. The seasonal service. The
carriers that do are Greek carriers. The law is quite clear that they can do it. The Milan route has been a success. Are you not pointing at a --?
ZUCKERMAN: Richard, these are subsidized carriers. Let's talk about Athens to Newark. The reason a U.S. carrier doesn't fly year-round is
because it's a money loser. And the reason Emirates is able to do is because it's massively subsidized by the UAE. It doesn't matter if they
lose money. They're happy to lose money, as long as they're able to push the U.S. carrier off the route. That's the scheme by the Gulf carriers.
QUEST: Not necessarily. Not necessarily. The fifth freedom route allows you to hop from one to the other. And by definition, a U.S. carrier could
fifth freedom over Athens on to somewhere else in Europe and make money.
ZUCKERMAN: Let's be honest. The flights from Dubai to Athens to Newark, nobody's flying from Athens to Dubai. They're just going to use the Athens
to Newark part, or just the Milan to JFK part. They not actually going to Dubai.
[16:15:04] And the problem is with the whole scheme. The Gulf carriers are so massively subsidized, we've documented $50 billion, which nobody is
disputing, except the Gulf carriers. And it allows them to do things that are not economically feasible. It's a violation of our open skies
agreement, and we're really appreciative of the fact that President Trump has said he will enforce our international agreements.
QUEST: Jill, thank you, as always. You've come on and gave a robust argument, of which we are grateful. And I know we'll be talking more about
this in the future. Thank you, Jill.
ZUCKERMAN: Thank you, Richard.
QUEST: And you'll be hearing from the Qatar Airways chief executive a little later in the program.
Twitter's CEO says the whole world is watching the company and today on Wall Street, they may have been watching, but they witnessed a major sell-
off. Talk about that after the break.
QUEST: The White House says it's counseled -- their words -- the president's counselor, Kellyanne Conway, after she plugged no Ivanka
Trump's products in the White House briefing room in a live TV interview.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
KELLY AND CONWAY, COUNSELOR TO PRESIDENT TRUMP: They're using the most prominent woman in Donald Trump's, you know, most prominent --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Right, Kellyanne --
CONWAY: -- and they're using her, who's been a champion for women in power --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Sure.
CONWAY: -- and women in the workplace, to get to him. I think people can see through that.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: 30 seconds.
CONWAY: Go buy Ivanka's stuff, is what I'm going -- I'm going to go get some myself today. This is just, it's a wonderful line, I own some of it.
I'm going to give a free commercial here. Go buy it today, everybody. You can find it online.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Well, critics on Twitter are highlighting the federal code of ethics. Now, the ethics code says, and I'm quoting now, "An employee shall
not use his public office for his own private gain for the endorsement of any product, service, or enterprise." At a press briefing, the White House
Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, said Conway had been counseled.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEAN SPICER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Kellyanne has been counseled and that's all we're going to go with.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
QUEST: Now, the U.S. Office of Government Ethics says it's received an extraordinary volume of communications from Americans by phone, email, the
web about what it's calling recent events. Larry Nobel is the former council, of the Federal Election Commission. He says Conway may have
breached ethics regulations, which have the full status of the law. Larry, look we've got a lot to get to, but on this particular point of Kellyanne
Conway, have we lost our sense of humor here, in what was perhaps a more lighter remark, with a bit of brio and enthusiasm.
[16:20:15] LARRY NOBLE, FORMER GENERAL COUNSEL, FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION: If this was the only thing they did, then yes, I might say,
she shouldn't have done it, it was done, you know, with a sense of humor, and just tell her not to do it again. But that's not what happened here.
It started the day before with Donald Trump attacking Nordstrom's, for not -- or for dropping her, Ivanka Trump's line of clothing, which apparently
happened back in January. And he wasn't joking around when he tweeted about that.
And then Sean Spicer defended Trump, by saying that the attack was a political attack -- is Nordstrom's dropping the line was a political
attack. And that basically implied that any attack -- or any negotiations or dropping of a line of Trump would be seen as a political attack. And
so, this is part of a habit, or part of a real policy they have here of combining their business with the business of the United States. And this
is what we've been worried about with the Trump administration from the beginning, when they refused to recognize the ethical conflicts of interest
that they have.
QUEST: The problem you've got, Larry, is that the argument hasn't changed and maybe by your definition, the facts have got worse, but there's not
much anybody's doing or at least is perceived to be able to do about it.
NOBLE: Well, you know, there are some -- yes, there are some limits. Look, the way this is set up, it was supposed to be the White House that
would take action against her, that it could be anything from counseling, but counseling that this is illegal. We don't know what they counseled her
about. It could be a suspension, it could be a reprimand, it could go as far as being fired. That's what normally would happen in the government.
Now what could happen beyond that? The Office of Government Ethics could take a position on this. And if serious enough, so could the Department of
Justice. But what we saw today with the outpouring of people's complaints about this is that the public is getting tired of this, and I think they
have to realize it. That the public doesn't want the government business to be mixed up with the personal business.
NOBLE: So, I think things are happening with it.
QUEST: Right, but you say the public, but in a country, that is pretty much split down the middle, when you say "the country," you're probably
referring to that part of the country that didn't vote for him, and therefore, this is going to be an inevitable saw that's going to run for
the four years of his administration. And let's just remember, for example, he still hasn't released his tax returns. So why do you think
these ethics things are going to change?
NOBLE: Because I think they add up. Yes, he did get almost half the vote. But not all of those people who voted for him would be considered die-hard
Trump supporters, and you know, anything he does is right. They were expecting that he would bring a certain business sense to this, but not
that he would run it as his business. And some of those people may get really tired of this. And frankly, members of Congress might have to start
worrying about this.
If people start getting really frustrated with the way the government's being run, because it looks like he's more concerned about his business
than he is about the government, then they're going to start hearing from their constituents and that's going to be a concern. And at some point,
and we've seen this happen before, at some point somebody's going step over the line, where it can't be ignored anymore. Where there'll be
congressional investigations or maybe even the Department of Justice, even under Attorney General Sessions will decide if they have to look into
something. They're in very dangerous territory here. And the scary part is that they've not really shown any understanding of what's going on or
taken -- that they're taking it seriously at all.
QUEST: Larry, you've taken it seriously for us tonight. And we're very grateful that you've come in to put in your perspective. Thank you, sir.
NOBLE: My pleasure. Thank you.
QUEST: Now, President Trump's penchant for Twitter hasn't improved enough so far to revive the company. The shares are down 12 percent. Weak sales
growth, advertising revenue, and user growth stalled. The shares off record highs. All this happened at the same time as the record high for
the Dow, the S&P and the NASDAQ. Paul La Monica joins me. Let's do the broader market first and then we'll reverse back into Twitter. Why did the
market roar up today? Was it this tax reference that the president made at the White House?
PAUL R. LA MONICA, CNNMONEY CORRESPONDENT: I think that is a big part of it, Richard. Clearly, that is what investors want to hear. They want to
see fewer tweets, even though we'll get to Twitter in a second, about Trump bashing corporate America and other companies around the world, in more
substance. But don't discount, also, that an influential Fed member, Jim Bollard of the St. Louis Fed. He seemed to hint that maybe the Fed would
only raise rates once this year, not the three times that people have been expecting. That could boost stocks as well.
[16:25:00] QUEST: So, to Twitter. I mean, what more can this company do, bearing in mind it's trying the patience of its investors left, right, and
LA MONICA: It really is tragic, in a sense, that Twitter, despite being part of the popular zeitgeist and very important in culture and politics
and sports, it's not able to translate that into really strong sales growth and user growth. Twitter's growth has stagnated. And I think part of the
problem is that the media is so obsessed with Twitter, you don't necessarily need to be on Twitter to find out what Donald Trump tweets.
The irony is, Donald Trump tweets something, CNN writes about it, and everyone reads it on Facebook.
QUEST: Well, that's -- so, so what is their next strategy. Because they've tried or they're streaming many events, key events. I was
traveling, I was able to watch, for example, a lot of the political conventions in the U.S. on Twitter. I was able to watch part of the
inauguration, because I was out of the U.S., on Twitter. Is that going to be a large-scale money spin up longer run?
LA MONICA: I think it's going to have to be, because that actually is an area where Twitter has won raves, even from skeptics. You talk about the
political live events, the coverage there, sports has also been a big hit. Twitter has woken raves from sports fans for its live streams of NFL games
and other sports, as well. And I think that is something that they will increasingly look to do more of going forward, as well.
But I think the big question right now is, Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey, kind of has to make a choice. He's got Twitter that he's running, he's running
Square. Neither of them are doing fantastic. He should probably pick one and let someone else run the other full-time.
QUEST: Paul La Monica with the Twitter story. We thank you for that.
A check of the European markets, and they are all in the green when all was said and done. The CAC in Paris was the day's best performer. It was
boosted from positive results from Societe Generale, the bank. The FTSE rose for the third straight day, the country is edges closer to eventually
pulling the trigger on it the Brexit negotiations. Incidentally, the thinking day is that it will be March the 9th. They want to do it before
the celebrations for the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome. And March the 9th or thereabouts is the day that most people believe that Theresa May
will pull the trigger. But that's not confirmed. That's just rumor, gossip.
President Trump promises to save America's crumbling infrastructure with a public/private partnership. As we return, how it should be done. Will
these airports around the world, they feel a world away from those in the U.S. Part of their troubles in the airports in a moment.
[16:30:08] Hello. I'm Richard Quest. There's more QUEST MEANS BUSINESS in just a moment. When the head of Qatar Airlines tells me he's ready for a
special council to look into claims of his American rivals which he has says are unfounded. And members of the economic freedom fighter party says
their name somewhat literally on the floor of the South African parliament. But before after all of that, this is CNN, and on this network, the news
always come first.
U.S. President Donald Trump says comments made by his Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch were misrepresented. A Democratic Senator who met with
Gorsuch says the nominee called Mr. Trump's comments about a federal judge demoralizing. President Trump later took to Twitter to criticize the
Senator. Mr. Trump signed three more executive actions today. They'll target drug cartels, crack down on crime against law enforcement officers,
and produce a task force. The president signed the orders after the swearing in of the new attorney general, Jeff Sessions.
Israeli authorities say a young Palestinian man is in custody after he started shooting and stabbing people at a market near Tel Aviv. He said at
least eight people were hurt and they're calling this a terrorist attack. The alleged gunman was caught by members of the general public.
The Turkish army says three of its soldiers were killed in a Russian air strike in Syria. Russian president Vladimir Putin has conveyed his
condolences to the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, over what the state media is calling a tragic accident and admits that the fighter jets
were trying to destroy ISIS military positions in the area.
Heavy snow and blizzard-like conditions caused airlines to cancel more than 1,800 flights in the northeastern United States. Several hundred delays.
The winter storm has affected nearly 60 million people, but expected to clear out by the weekend.
The chief executive of Qatar Airways has been speaking exclusively to CNN. Akbar al Baker is a friend of Donald Trump's. And he told me when it comes
to the open skies, discussions, debate, and controversy, foreign airlines like his should not be shut out of the president's thinking.
AKBAR AL BAKER, CEO, QATAR AIRWAYS: I would just request president Trump that as he listens to these three American carriers, he should also listen
to our point of view. At the same time, there are other American carriers and American operators, other than these three. So, these three should not
be allowed to dominate the conversation with President Trump. Keeping in mind that though they say that we are taking American jobs, actually, they
are misleading him. If they say that to the president, they are misleading him. We are bringing massive numbers of people into the United States. We
are creating jobs.
We are also, at the same time, providing facilities for the large number of Americans that come from this part of the world. And as they are creating
bumper profits, the highest profits of any airline has ever made. And then, buying airplanes from manufacturers outside United States, whilst we
keep on buying massive numbers of airplanes from the American manufacturer.
QUEST: I guess, really, what I'm saying here is, the arguments haven't changed since the whole thing was run two years ago, two to three years
ago. So, nothing's really changed in terms of the points of view. What's changed is the administration in Washington. Do you fear that change in
the administration could be more sympathetic to the big U.S. three?
AL BAKER: There could be the possibility, but at the end of the day, for President Trump, it's America first, then he should try to support us
because we always, in the way we operate, bring America first, by ordering American manufactured goods for our airlines, contrary to what the others
are doing, placing large airplane orders with the European, Brazilian, and Canadian manufacturers.
QUEST: Because you've just ordered 60-odd planes from Boeing, haven't you?
AL BAKER: 100 airplanes from Boeing, not 60.
QUEST: I was thinking of the 67 threes.
AL BAKER: I order 67 threes, ten 777s, and 30 787-9s. But don't forget my country is also very pro-American. They have just ordered a large number
of F-15s at a time when Boeing was going to lay off American workers. We supported them by creating more jobs for American workers, especially
American bad luck workers, that President Trump really wants to support.
QUEST: So, my final point or question is, so you're ready to go back into the argument over this?
[16:35:00] AL BAKER: I will always go for any argument to defend the interests of my country and my airline, like anybody else will do. I have
another request for the second time that president Trump not only listens to them. But also, listens to our point of view. We are publishing our
accounts. We are not running our airlines the way we have perceived to run, and we have open book, and Mr. Trump is welcome to appoint a special
counsel to look at this.
QUEST: Akbar al Baker. Now, the issue over airports has also been much on the agenda and the sorry state, as seen by some, of U.S. airports, when
compared to the rest of the world. Speaking earlier at his meeting with executives, the president has promised investments to drag U.S.
infrastructure into the 21st century.
Our airports used to be the best. Now they're at the bottom of the rung. We have an obsolete plane system, obsolete airports, obsolete trains, bad
roads. We're going to change all of that, folks. So, you're going to be so happy with Trump as Donald Trump promises to improve the state of the
airports, allow me to show you how good they could be. In the last couple of weeks, I was visited three of the probably best examples of airports in
the world. You'll be familiar with many of them. Come with me on Quest air as we show you one or two of them.
So, we start at Singapore, these are the pictures. The tropical-themed departure lounges, with their magnificent orchid gardens, the swimming
pool, the spa, and of course the airport hotel. And then you come here into the Gulf, where I am tonight. You go to Abu Dhabi, thank you, off the
plane goes. And there we have a traditional style of airport. With gleaming hexagonal ceilings, which mask a brand-new airport that is going
to be under construction that will allow for many more.
And then to the place I was yesterday, Doha in Qatar, having just been on the longest flight in the world, in Doha, it is art installations, for
example, the giant teddy bear that keeps watch near departure gates. There are few other airports where you can land in the middle of the night and
still get a massage to ease away the aches and pains of a long flight. But that's what I was able to enjoy last night. Try doing that at Kennedy
airport, if you land at midnight. Captain Rick Dominguez is the executive administrator of the airline pilot's administration. He's in Washington.
Captain, you're as familiar as I am with some of these lavish airports, infrastructure spending, nobody would disagree that the U.S. does need to
spend more on its aviation industry. So, what's your problem with President Trump's plans?
CAPTAIN RICK DOMINGUEZ, EXECUTIVE ADMINISTRATOR OF THE AIRLINE PILOT'S ASSOCIATION: We're actually very delighted that President Trump is seeking
to improve the infrastructure of the airports and the aviation system of the United States, which, by the way, is one of the safest in the world.
If not the safest. But we also look forward of him putting America first and taking care of American workers and putting a level playing field on
QUEST: Now, that's back to the open skies dispute. Were you disappointed that you weren't at this morning's meeting?
DOMINGUEZ: We were not invited at this morning's meetings, and we would have loved to be there, but we still look forward to hearing from Mr. Trump
on leveling the playing field. Here we are, playing by the rules, and the gulf three players are cheaters. And they should be abiding by the
agreements. We want Trump to enforce the aviation agreements that Obama failed to enforce.
[16:40:00] QUEST: On this program, the chief executive of Qatar Airways, says he would welcome the appointment of a special counsel, not even sure
the law allows such a thing, to investigate these two allegations. Because let's face it, there are two sides to any argument and both sides are
entrenched. Would you be in favor of some form of independent commission, once and for all, to delve into this?
DOMINGUEZ: There have been various independent studies. The massive subsidies that the gulf carriers enjoy have been documented and spoken
about by the German transport minister recently and by the French secretary of state, as well as by many other airlines. The U.S. airlines are not the
only ones that are alleging these massive subsidies. They, in fact, do exist.
QUEST: Now, I realize that IAG has a large shareholding by Qatar Airways, but even before that shareholding, British Airways boss, Willy Walsh, he
was saying, it's open competition, let them come in. It's fair enough, let them do what they need to do. We'll fight on playing ground.
DOMINGUEZ: I couldn't agree more. Open competition, let's make it fair competition. Let's abide by the rules that we agreed to. We welcome
QUEST: There's one point, though, where the public stands on this. At the end of the day, and I'm not in any shape for more description. Nothing in
this question in any way implies a lack of safety as you say U.S. airline, U.S. airports, U.S. infrastructure is among the best if not the best in the
world, but when it comes to passenger comforts, when it comes to the bells and whistles, well, the gulf three has got pretty much everybody else
DOMINGUEZ: Well, it's hard to compete against the treasuries of foreign nations.
QUEST: They deny outright, and I read the report from open skies and I've read their rebuttals and frankly, after 30 or 40 pages, one's head begins
to spin but I've just talked to two of their chief execs, they're German, and they still vehemently deny they have any illegal subsidies and say they
have the paperwork to prove it.
DOMINGUEZ: Very well, we believe also that there are massive subsidies and not only us, but many countries in Europe believe so, also. We want
President Trump to put America first and take care of American workers and put us on a level playing field.
QUEST: Finally, sir, and you've been very generous with your time, do you believe that this president is more likely to do so. Because if you
listened to what he said this morning at the White House, he's also very much aware of the investment that the gulf three bring in.
DOMINGUEZ: That's very well, but the gulf three employ about 1,300 employees in the United States and just the big three in the U.S. employ
over 300,000 employees. Put America first.
QUEST: Sir, thank you. We appreciate your time. It's really good of you to come on tonight and talk to us.
DOMINGUEZ: Thank you, Richard.
QUEST: Now, President Zuma said he had to ensure peace during his address to parliament earlier by deploying the army. Now, the president wasn't
able to stop violence breaking out inside the building. We're going to be in South Africa to see what the ruckus was all about.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [16:45:00]
QUEST: South African president Jacob Zuma called for unity in his state of the nation address. As for the state of the South African parliament when
he spoke, it wasn't nearly disunity, whether you want to call it a ruckus, melee, or fisticuffs, it was an outright brawl. Most disagreeable. The
Economic Freedom Fighters, whose members all turned up just in red, but it's the reds and the whites both getting at it, they rejected from
parliament after interrupting the president's breach in protests. The scuffles continued outside, where this time the protesters were clashing
with riot police, who were perhaps a little more equipped to deal with it.
CNN money's Africa correspondent, Eleni Giokos is in Johannesburg. Eleni, in previous years, in previous years, puma's speech has been interrupted.
So, it's not like it's the first time this has happened. What led it to disintegrate into fisticuffs?
ELENI GIOKOS, CNN MONEY'S AFRICA CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I mean, it was an hour and a half, Richard, of intense debates. And the debate kind of went
around the fact that the Economic Freedom Fighters are saying that President Jacob Zuma is an illegitimate president, that he's a
constitutional delinquent, and it kind of falls in the whole conversation about this cloud of corruption that surrounds Jacob Zuma.
You'll remember he survived many motions of no confidence over the past year. He's being connected and of course allegations of corrupt activity
with the high-profile Gupta family. There are so many things that have come out of the past few years, and this is why the opposition is pushing
so hard. And it's not just the men and women in those raid outfits that you saw that were violently removed, but the other opposition parties also
chimed in and the official opposition party, the Democratic alliance eventually walked out, because it got so violent. Punches were being
thrown, insults were being heard. It's like nothing we've seen before, and yet we've seen violence breaking out in the past few years, but this has
been pretty unprecedented. And of course, the military being deployed, 440 soldiers standing by to restore law and order was a pretty strong message,
also given through by Jacob Zuma.
QUEST: I've got some -- I've got some bad news, though, Eleni. As long as the president has his majority of the ANC in parliament, they can throw as
many punches as they like. It's not going to make any difference.
GIOKOS: It won't make any difference. This is why he's been able to survive so long, despite the fact the electorate is actually unhappy. We
saw that coming through with the local government election, where the ANC lost key municipalities. We saw through protest action, calls for him to
step down, the hashtag, Zuma must fall. The general, you know, worry about the economy, unemployment sitting at a high that we haven't seen since 2013
of 27 percent growth, very close to zero percent, as well. So, this drama that's happening on the ground, people are speaking up about it, but the
ANC majority is of course keeping him in power at this point.
QUEST: Eleni Giokos in Johannesburg, thank you. From the lowest rung of society to the heights of corporate America, we'll hear from Ursula Burns,
the former chief executive of Xerox after the break. "QUEST MEANS BUSINESS." we're in Abu Dhabi tonight.
[16:50:00] (COMMERCIAL BREAK)
QUEST: This week, Xerox is celebrating the 111th anniversary of the birth of Chester Carlson. He's the man who invented xerography in 1938. It
transformed the reproduction of text and images on paper. In fact, if you remember, we didn't use a photo copier, you Xeroxed. I'm going to the
Xerox machine. It's part of history, as we continue our series, American dream. We hear how she overcame all obstacles on the road to success.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Wow, you guys were really close to the highway.
URSULA BURNS, FORMER CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF XEROX: Yes, we lived right on top of the highway and right on the bridge. That's what we woke up --
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: It's noisy!
BURNS: This is what it's like all the time.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: And I'm used to noise.
BURNS: There people who had more than I had, they were poor too. So, there was definitely gradations of poor, and I was -- we realized that we
were on like the real bottom gradation of poor. Yes, this is --
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: This is the building? And it still looks pretty much --
BURNS: This is the same. Not everybody starts here. Where you start does not foretell where you are going to end at all.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Did your mom ever tell you be careful?
BURNS: Oh, my mother, she worried a lot about our safety, but she also gave me many cautions. Watch out laying down with these boys, because
they'll get you pregnant. Don't do that! Many, many, many cautions. Many cautions, almost every day about drugs. Drugs were everywhere. My mother
removed a lot of the pressure from us. I knew that it was a struggle, I knew she was tired a lot. That was the thing that I really -- she didn't
like to take a lot of crap. And she would make that clear.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Oh, my god!
BURNS: That's me.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: That is really cool.
BURNS: Wow, look at my hair. Look at the earrings. That's me.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: What was cathedral like?
BURNS: Cathedral was hard -- it was tough. Cathedral was tough. I grew up in the lower east side and I had never gotten out and walked above the
lower east side of Manhattan. There was no reason for me to be there. But Cathedral was absolutely amazing. Lots of work. When I was a junior, we
had a guidance counselor, her name was Sister Rosemary. And she said, so, you can become a nun and you can become a nurse, and you can become a
teacher. What one do you want to be? I said, well, none -- I didn't -- none of those. I definitely didn't want to be a nun. So, I went to the
library and it gave you all the universities in the United States. And they also had, interestingly enough, the careers that paid the most money.
And I said, OK, I wanted to go to the most competitive, and I wanted to be a chemical engineer, because it paid $24,000.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: You remember that?
BURNS: Yes. I got my first pay, was $29,004.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Do you have any regrets, whatsoever?
BURNS: That I didn't have more children. But I didn't have time. I didn't have time. And I ran out of time and my body couldn't take it.
Just structurally, business is still made for men. I go to universities a lot and speak, and I always get to question, how do I balance work and
family? Women ask me this question all the time. Men never do.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: The American dream. Is it still alive and well today?
BURNS: There is no doubt in my mind, there is no doubt that it is. So now what we have to do, you, me, people who are engaged, has to look at this
jewel and keep it going.
[16:55:00] QUEST: Fascinating. "Profitable Moment" after the break.
QUEST: Tonight's "Profitable Moment." There's lots to be cheerful about and look forward to with President Trump talking about new infrastructure
in the United States. However, when it comes to the U.S. three versus the gulf three, frankly, that's all rather depressing. The argument hasn't
changed since we went through it last time two years ago, and it feels like we're going to go through it again with he said, he said, she said, she
said and there will be no final resolution. So be it. That's Quest on business. I'm Richard Quest in Abu Dhabi. Whatever you're up to in the
hours ahead -- hope it's profitable. We'll be back here in Abu Dhabi, tomorrow night.