The CEO of Qatar Airways has publicly apologized after he suggested that a woman couldn’t do his job.
Akbar Al Baker said on Tuesday that Qatar Airways “has to be led by a man” – however, he’s now backtracked complete and issued a “heartfelt apology”. He also suggested that his comments had been blown out of proportion.
In an official statement, Al Baker said: "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."
The chief executive officer went on to say that Qatar Airways believes in gender equality and reminded the public that they were the first airline to employ female pilots in their region.
When pressed to see if he believes only a man can do his job, Al Baker said: “No, I don't believe that. As a matter of fact, [at] Air Italy the majority shareholder has shortlisted women to be the CEO and as a minority shareholder, we are actively encouraging that."
Al Baker is no stranger to public apologies. Last year he was forced to say sorry after claiming US airlines were ‘crap’ and referring to their airline stewardesses as ‘grandmothers’.
He boasted that the average age of his cabin crew was 26 years old.