Qatar Airways CEO says only a man can do his job

  • Qatar Airways CEO says only a man can do his job

Qatar Airways CEO says only a man can do his job

"I would like to offer my heartfelt apologies for any offence caused by my comment yesterday, which runs counter to my track record of expanding the role of women in leadership throughout the Qatar Airways Group and has been sensationalized by the media", Akbar al Baker said in a statement.

Al Baker's sexist remarks are even more problematic, given his new status as the chairman of IATA, whose responsibilities include the formulation of industry policy and standards for some 278 airlines.

When asked about what could be done to increase the poor representation of women in the Middle East's aviation industry, Al Baker replied that Qatar Airways "has to be led by a man, because it is a very challenging position", Bloomberg reports.

Qatar Airways boss Akbar Al-Baker courted controversy at this week's International Air Transport Association (IATA) annual general meeting by saying his job as head of the airline could only be done by a man.

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.

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.

He eventually went on to tell Bloomberg: "We actually encourage women". We see that they have huge potential in doing senior management positions, ' he said.

Some rivals have taken action to promote more women to senior positions.

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. There is no gender inequality in Qatar Airways or in my country", Al Baker said.

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

'When you have diversity, your company's results are better.

Willie Walsh, CEO of British Airways and Aer Lingus owner IAG ICAG.L , said the industry needed to attract more women and that progress had been slow.

Qatar Airways, Iata and Heathrow were approached for comment.