Published: Wed, June 06, 2018
Finance | By Kristine Clayton

Qatar Airways may incur loss for two consecutive years

Qatar Airways may incur loss for two consecutive years

Speaking after Mr Al Baker's comments, Heathrow's chief executive John Holland-Kaye, said: "Diversity and inclusion are part of our core values and I have no doubt that a woman could carry out my role".

Qatar Airways has in the past faced criticism for its treatment of female cabin staff, with the Guardian reporting in 2015 that they had in the past been fired for such reasons as being pregnant and having a tattoo.

The airline executive later clarified his remarks during an interview with Bloomberg, saying he was "only referring to one individual, I was not referring to the staff in general".

"Of course it has to be led by a man because it is a very challenging position", he said, drawing gasps from those present.

Chief executive officer Akbar Al Baker said the position was "challenging" and needed to be led by a man.

He went on to list the efforts Qatar Airways has made toward gender equality, noting that more than 33 percent of the airline's employees are women and it was the first airline in the Middle East to introduce female pilots.

"What are some of the resolutions, some of the ideas, that IATA will try to bring to the forefront, to have more women represented in airlines?" the reporter asked.

The boycott forced Qatar Airways to scrap some short-haul routes while diverting many intercontinental services because of airspace closures, making flight times longer and increasing fuel burn. "As a matter of fact (at) Air Italy the majority shareholder has shortlisted women to be CEO and as minority shareholder we are actively encouraging that".

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

The issue of gender imbalance in aviation was a hot topic at the annual meeting of IATA, only six of whose 280 member airlines have female chief executives.

Qantas' chief said at the same press conference that the Australian carrier had achieved a strong turnaround in profits partly due to its pursuit of diversity, with women making up 40 per cent of senior management.

"It will be my pleasure to have a female CEO candidate I could then develop to become CEO after me", he concluded.
"But clearly we, as an industry, have a big task ahead of us".

The airline was also the first to employ female pilots and one of the first to train female engineers, the CEO said.

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