The chief executive of Qatar Airways, Akbar Al Baker, on Tuesday declared that only a man can do his challenging job.
Al Baker made the comments moments after becoming chair of the aviation industry body’s board of governors for a one-year term.
At a press conference in Sydney, where the International Air Transport Asssociation held its annual meeting, he was asked what could be done to tackle the lack of women in Middle East aviation.
However, the airline has issued a formal statement from Al Baker, who has run Qatar Airways since 1997.
“While I am known in the media for some lightheartedness at press conferences, it is crucial that I emphasise the facts, as I did today, and the importance of women representatives in the airline industry.
“Qatar Airways firmly believes in gender equality in the workplace and our airline has been a pioneer in our region in this regard, as the first airline to employ female pilots, as one of the first to train and employ female engineers, and with females represented through to senior vice president positions within the airline.
“With a female workforce of more than 33 per cent, as I mentioned today, it would be my pleasure if I could help develop a female candidate to be the next CEO of Qatar Airways.”
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