Akbar Al Baker
Akbar Al Baker
Akbar Al Baker in 2009
|Born||1962 (age 56–57)|
|Education||Economics & Commerce|
|Occupation||CEO of Qatar Airways|
Akbar Al Baker (Arabic: أكبر الباکر) (born 1962) is currently the CEO of Qatar Airways and Secretary-General of Qatar National Tourism Council Al-Baker also served as one of the lead developers for Hamad International Airport which opened in 2014.
Al-Baker was born in Doha, Qatar. As a child, he studied at St. Peter's Boys School boarding school, perched in the Panchgani hills in Maharashtra, India. He later moved to Mumbai and graduated from Sydenham College of Commerce and Economics. He also holds a private pilot license.  
Al-Baker became Chief Executive Officer of Qatar Airways in 1997. Prior to this appointment, he worked at the Civil Aviation Directorate of Qatar. He is also the former Chairman of the Qatar Tourism Authority. He is CEO of several divisions of Qatar's national airline, including Qatar Executive, Qatar Airways Holidays, Qatar Aviation Services, Qatar Duty Free Company, Doha International Airport, Internal Media Services, Qatar Distribution Company and Qatar Aircraft Catering Company.
Al-Baker led the development of Hamad International Airport, which opened its first phase in May 2014 and is now home to Qatar Airways. As of 2017 the airport services all inbound and outbound flights out of Doha.
In June 2019, Al Baker announced that Qatar Airways would be buying a stake in a sixth overseas airline before the end of the year. The company has not yet been named, but will join the airlines interests in IAG SA, Latam Airlines Group SA, Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd, China Southern Airlines Co. and Air Italy SpA.
Al-Baker is a member of the Executive Committee of the Arab Air Carriers Organization, a member of the Board of Governors of the International Air Transport Association, and a non-executive director of Heathrow Airport Holdings.
In July 2017, in a speech at a dinner in Ireland, Al Baker said US airlines were "crap" and their passengers were "always being served by grandmothers". He also boasted that "the average age of my cabin crew is only 26".
He later said that his remarks were "careless" and did not reflect his "true sentiments about cabin crew".
On June 5th 2018, speaking at a press conference following his election to chairman of the International Air Transport Association at the association's annual meeting in Sydney, Australia, he told reporters that, regarding Qatar Airways' management, “Of course it has to be led by a man, because it is a very challenging position.”
Although Al-Baker later apologized for any offense, he stopped short of recanting his belief that being CEO of an international airline is too challenging a job for a woman. He did, however, state that he was attempting to make a joke at the time.
- CEO' message on Qatar Airways website retrieved 24 February 2014
- "Bloomberg - Are you a robot?".
- "Akbar al Baker".
- Craven, Alistair (June 2006). An Interview with Mr. Akbar Al Baker. Strategic Direction. 22. p. 25. doi:10.1108/02580540610665499. ISBN 978-1-84663-012-5.
- "Airline Directory | Hamad International Airport".
- "Qatar Air closing in on new airline stake". June 17, 2019. Retrieved August 6, 2019.
- "Qatar Airways CEO sorry for hostesses jibe". BBC News. 2017-07-13.
- "Qatar Air Boss Apologizes for Saying CEO Job Must Be Held by a Man". Bloomberg.com. 2018-06-05. Retrieved 2018-06-06.
- Liakos, Ivana Kottasová and Chris. "Qatar Airways CEO apologizes after sexist remark". CNNMoney. Retrieved 2018-06-06.
- "Qatar Airways CEO Apologizes For Saying His Job Must Be Held By A Man". Fortune. Retrieved 2018-06-06.
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