Airline can’t be run by a woman because it’s a ‘very challenging position’ says Qatar CEO

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Qatar Airways chief executive officer, Akbar Al Baker, said only a man could do his job because it is so difficult.

 

The CEO of Qatar Airways has caused controversy after stating that a woman would be incapable of managing the demands of his job,

 

Speaking at the IATA’s annual meeting in Sydney, Mr Al Baker said: “Of course it has to be led by a man, because it is a very challenging position.”

 

His comments were met with loud groans of disapproval from journalists in the room.

 

The incident came the day it was announced that he was commencing a one-year term as chair of the aviation industry body’s board of governors.

 

Mr Al Baker later clarified his position in an interview with Bloomberg Television.

 

“You know we have more than 33 per cent that are female in Qatar Airways,” he said.

 

“There is no gender inequality in Qatar Airways or in my country.”

 

It will be my pleasure to have a female CEO candidate that I could develop to become CEO after me.”

 

Last year, Akbar Al Baker apologised “unreservedly” for calling US flight attendants “grandmothers” during a speech which was criticised as both sexist and ageist.