Explore the dramatic exit of Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker after 27 years, uncovering controversies, achievements, and the surprising successor. Dive into the aviation world’s latest buzz.
Qatar Airways Group CEO Akbar Al Baker is set to step down from his position after an impressive 27-year tenure at the helm of the aviation company. His retirement is scheduled to take effect from November 6th.
Taking the reins as his successor is Badr Mohammed Al-Meer, the current CEO of Doha’s Hamad International Airport, widely recognized as the central hub for the country’s national carrier.
Qatar Airways proudly acknowledged its transformation into a globally recognized and trusted brand during Al Baker’s leadership, boasting an impressive record of seven “World’s Best Airline” awards among other accolades.
During his tenure, Al Baker gained notoriety for his outspoken and at times confrontational approach, which extended into negotiations with manufacturers and other industry figures.
Al Baker’s career was not without controversy, as he made headlines with remarks suggesting that women couldn’t lead airlines and criticizing American carriers, referring to them as “crap” and their passengers as being “served by grandmothers.” He later issued apologies for these comments.
In recent events, Al Baker defended Qatar’s hosting of the FIFA World Cup and was unapologetic about rubbing “salt into the wound” of adversaries who raised concerns about issues like labor conditions for low-paid migrant workers and the country’s stance on LGBTQ rights.
In financial terms, Qatar Airways reported a profit of $1.2 billion in the last fiscal year, attributed in part to the country’s hosting of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. This figure marked a slight decrease from the previous year’s $1.5 billion profit, primarily due to increased operating expenses, particularly in jet fuel costs, as energy prices rebounded with the resumption of air travel.
Qatar Airways demonstrated substantial revenue growth, generating $20.9 billion in revenue during the fiscal year, a significant increase from the $14.4 billion earned in the preceding year.