Qatar Airways CEO booed after saying a woman couldn't run his airline

Qatar Airways CEO booed after saying a woman couldn't run his airline

The head of Qatar Airways apologized on Wednesday for saying that a woman could not do his job. "I was not referring to the staff in general", he said.

An IATA board photograph published last week featured one woman out of 26 airline chiefs - Christine Ourmières-Widener, chief executive of United Kingdom regional carrier Flybe.Other airline companies have made efforts to promote women to senior positions in recent years.

The airline industry wants to attract more women, but no one seems to have told the trade body's new chairman.

"Well, of course, it has to be led by a man, because it is a very challenging position", Mr Al Baker said.

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

When asked what the association - long regarded as one of the world's most powerful "boys' club" - meant to do to increase the representation of women in the senior ranks of Middle East aviation, he responded: "That's not the case at Qatar Airways". The Qatar Airways chief previous year apologized after describing American flight attendants as "grandmothers", as opposed to the average age of 26 for cabin crews working at his carrier. "Because it is a very challenging position", Al Baker responded, prompting gasps and groans from the room of reporters.

"So we actually encourage women". Qantas Airways Ltd.'s senior management is 40 per cent female, including the heads of the global and frequent-flier loyalty businesses, CEO Alan Joyce said.

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The 56-year-old, who has been the airline's chief executive since 1997, added: "It will be my pleasure to have a female CEO candidate I could then develop to become CEO after me".

Qatar Airways later issued an official apology on the behalf of Baker claiming that the airlines firmly believes in gender equality.

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

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

"If we're leaving out nearly 50 per cent of the population in our search for the next generation of 640,000 pilots, we're clearly not tapping into all of the talent that's available", Alan Joyce, the airline's chief executive, said in a statement this year.

'Aer Lingus recruited its first female pilot in 1977... "It's taken 40 years to get to 10%", he said.

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