Only Men Are Capable of Running an International Airline, CEO Says

Only Men Are Capable of Running an International Airline, CEO Says

Only Men Are Capable of Running an International Airline, CEO Says

The boss at Qatar Airways might want to chat with Angela Merkel, Theresa May or other female heads of state to see if they need any help running their countries, as he views his position atop the state-owned airline as overly challenging for the opposite sex.

Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar al-Baker poses in front of an Airbus A350-1000 in Antalya, Turkey April 25, 2018.

He backed his explanation with facts, mentioning that 33 percent of Qatar Airways staff are women. Not once did I feel out of place or that I was not being taken seriously because I was a woman (and a very young one at that). "It was just a joke", he said.

Al Baker's sexist remarks are even more problematic, given his new status as the chairman of IATA, whose responsibilities include the formulation of industry policy and standards for some 278 airlines.

Although Mr. Al Baker's comments elicited disapproving noises during the news conference, he's far from the only senior businessman to make such remarks.

In 2017, he apologised after calling U.S. flight attendants "grandmothers" during a trade row with United States airlines, prompting an airline union to accuse him of sexism and age discrimination.

In this January 15, 2015, file photo, a new Qatar Airways Airbus A350 approaches the gate at the airport in Frankfurt, Germany.

"I think it's all going to come from the leadership commitment to ingrain that change throughout the organization", she said, speaking at an event focused on gender equality in the sector at the meeting in Sydney.

"Many airlines have implemented programs to encourage gender diversity", it said.

"Qatar Airways firmly believes in gender equality in the workplace and our airline has been a pioneer in our region in this regard".

'If you look at the board it is predominantly middle-aged white men from Europe.

FYI: IATA has only two women out of total 31 members. "We have more diversity on the board now than we have had for a long time, and we have to strive to improve that situation".

"Of course it has to be led by a man".

"I was only referring to one individual", he said in an interview with Bloomberg Television.

The gender row comes amid a deeper debate about whether airlines based on different national social models, recruitment policies and wage structures can compete on equal terms.

For instance, during an earlier spat between Qatar Airways and its chief competitor, Delta Air Lines, Al Baker's vowed to "hang on the wall" Delta's CEO Richard Anderson.

Related news