Qatar Airways Chief Ignites Twitter with Sexist Row

Qatar Airways Chief Ignites Twitter with Sexist Row

Qatar Airways Chief Ignites Twitter with Sexist Row

Mr Al Baker responded by saying that "it's not in Qatar Airways".

Qatar Airways posted the apology to its Twitter account on Wednesday.

The carrier has female pilots and female senior vice presidents, he said.

The chief executive of Qatar Airways, who sits on the board of Heathrow airport, has inflamed a row over sexism in the airline industry by saying only a man could do his challenging job.

Mr Al Baker's response was met with gasps, boos, and indignant responses from the media, with Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce reminding Mr Al Baker of his promise to refrain from making controversial comments after accepting his position as chairman of the IATA board of governors.

Speaking at a press conference following his election, Al Baker was asked what could be done to improve the rates of female employment in the Middle Eastern airways.

The new head of the International Air Transport Association sparked anger within minutes of taking up his role by suggesting that only a man could run an airline.

Asked at Wednesday's CAPA conference whether he truly believed that only a man could do his job, Al Baker said, "No, I don't believe that".

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'So we actually encourage women. The Qatar Airways chief a year ago apologized after describing American flight attendants as "grandmothers", as opposed to the average age of 26 for cabin crews working at his carrier. We see that they have huge potential in doing senior management positions, ' he said.

"I was only referring to one individual", he said.

Big companies have been forced to reveal their gender pay gaps - the difference between average salaries for male and female staff - as part efforts to tackle sexism by Prime Minister Theresa May.

Joyce said: "It's the right business thing to do and it's the right moral thing to do".

USA and some European airlines have accused Gulf carriers of unfair competition based on subsidies and social policies, but Walsh - whose group counts Qatar Airways as a shareholder - said he believed Gulf airlines competed on an equal footing.

"Aer Lingus recruited its first female pilot in 1977..."

Although Al Baker quickly backtracked on his comments, stating that it would be his pleasure to "have a female CEO candidate [he] could then develop to become CEO", the Twitter community did not take too kindly to the embattled airlines chief.

Qatar Airways has today been contacted for comment.

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