Qatar Airways CEO announces he is stepping down after 27- year tenure
The Chief Executive Officer of Qatar Airways, Akbar Al Baker, has announced his departure from the airline after leading it for 27 years.
During his tenure, Al Baker played a pivotal role in the remarkable transformation of Qatar Airways, which evolved from a small fleet of just a few aircraft into a globally renowned 5-star airline boasting a fleet of 284 planes.
In a message addressed to the airline’s staff, he shared, “After 27 years of service, I am writing to you to announce that I will step down from the Qatar Airways Group. In 1996, with a fleet of just five aircraft, unwavering dedication, and a loyal and passionate team, together we embarked on a remarkable journey to aviation excellence. From that very first day, our journey has been nothing short of extraordinary.”
One of the more challenging episodes during his leadership was the public dispute between Airbus and Qatar Airways over the paint on its Airbus A350 fleet, which has since been amicably resolved out of court. Nevertheless, there have been numerous high points, including the airline’s achievement of a Skytrax 5-Star rating.
Al Baker’s commitment to Qatar Airways’ operations in the United Kingdom is evident, with the airline serving seven UK airports, including London Heathrow, London Gatwick, London Stansted, Birmingham, East Midlands (for cargo operations only), Edinburgh, and Manchester. These connections have facilitated global travel via Doha, particularly to destinations in Asia and Oceania.
Qatar Airways also made headlines by launching a daily service from Cardiff Wales to Doha, although this route was suspended at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, it is the only UK route that has not been reinstated, and there is no specified date for its resumption.
Akbar Al Baker’s accomplishments at Qatar Airways are undeniable. He successfully guided the airline through both prosperous and challenging periods, even in the face of a trade blockade imposed by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt.
The role of CEO at Qatar Airways will be taken over by Badr Mohammed Al Meer, who currently serves as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Doha Airport.