Akbar Al Baker, the long-standing CEO of Qatar Airways, has announced his sudden resignation, effective from November 5. Serving as the airline’s head since 1997, Al Baker is renowned for transforming Qatar Airways over his 27-year tenure into a globally recognized carrier known for its aggressive expansion and investment in Doha airport. However, no explanation was provided by the airline for his abrupt departure. Badr Mohammed Al Meer, the Chief Operating Officer of Doha Hamad Airport, Qatar Airways’ base, has been named as Al Baker’s successor.
Al Baker, known for his candid opinions on the airline industry, has frequently attracted controversy. In June, he labeled industry net-zero targets as a PR stunt and expressed skepticism about their achievability. He courted controversy further in 2018 when he made sexist comments at an International Air Transport Association meeting, stating that Middle Eastern airlines required male leadership due to challenging conditions. He later apologized for his comments and pledged his support for the development of a female successor as the CEO of Qatar Airways.
Qatar Airways Further Details
The Hill adds that Akbar Al Baker, the Group Chief Executive of Qatar Airways, is set to retire on November 5 after leading the company for 27 years. Al Baker will be succeeded by Badr Mohammed Al-Meer, the current Chief Operating Officer of Hamad International Airport in Doha, the main hub for Qatar’s national airline.
Under Al Baker’s leadership, Qatar Airways has grown into a globally recognised brand, winning the “World’s Best Airline” award seven times, among other accolades. Known for his uncompromising and occasionally controversial approach, Al Baker has been one of the most vocal leaders in the aviation industry. He has faced backlash for making gender-biased comments and for his disparaging remarks about American airlines and their workforce.
Al Baker has also staunchly defended Qatar’s role as…