Qatar Airways boss apologizes for remarks on women CEOs

Qatar Airways boss apologizes for remarks on women CEOs

In a statement on Wednesday, Mr al-Baker said Qatar Airways fully supported gender equality.

Stunned by the statement, one woman suggested that while Al Baker could make overtly sexist public comments, he is probably a sort of man who always consults his wife before making a decision.

It would seem that al Baker knew he had misspoken, because he went on to highlight ways the Persian Gulf carrier has promoted women in the workplace.

He backed his explanation with facts, mentioning that 33 percent of Qatar Airways staff are women.

He attempted to row back the comments later in the day, saying he would actually welcome a woman as his successor.

Answering a question from a journalist who works for the Abu Dhabi-based The National newspaper, Baker was asked he if could share some ideas to bring about greater gender equality in the aviation industry - specifically, in the Middle East.

Airport traffic control protests in Europe are a bigger threat to its airlines that rising fuel prices, Willie Walsh, head of British Airways-parent IAG said.

Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar al-Baker poses with cabin crew in an Airbus A350-1000 at the Eurasia Airshow in the Mediterranean resort city of Antalya, Turkey April 25, 2018.

Al Baker tried to diminish the scope of his comments.

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"I was only referring to one individual", he told Bloomberg.

He later defended Qatar Airways' record on gender diversity, but that failed to quell growing criticism.

He also said there were women in senior vice president positions within the company.

The comments come after he described U.S. flight attendants as "grandmother", meant as an insult, while boasting that the average age of Qatar Airways' attendants is 26.

He becomes the 77th chair of the IATA board and the first CEO from Qatar Airways to hold the position.

The International Labour Organization criticised the airline's policies regarding terminating contracts of pregnant women and prohibiting women being dropped off or picked up from the company by a man other than their father, brother or husband, according to Reuters. Al Baker also stressed that he's "known in the media for some lightheartedness at press conferences", per CNN. However, this is not the first time that Baker is in the midst of controversy, infact he is one of the most controversial figures. Just past year, Al Baker apologized after he was accused of ageism for referring to United States flight attendants as "grandmothers".

He was speaking at the IATA annual conference in Sydney where only six out of 280 airline members have a female chief executive.

Alan Joyce, the gay chief executive of Qantas Airways, argued that a more diverse leadership would benefit the industry.

Mr Joyce said that having a diverse workforce could help drive profits.

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