Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker to Step Down After 27-Year Tenure

Published: Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker is stepping down from the role from November 5, 2023.

The 61-year-old airline Qatari national, who has been the helm of airline for 27 years and has turned Qatar Airways into what it is today, resigned from the position.

“I look back on the years with immense pride. You have not only made me, but also my beloved country proud. I want to express my deepest gratitude for the trust and confidence you’ve placed in me over the years,” Al Baker said.

Recently Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamid Al Thani announced Al Baker had been replaced as as the country’s top tourism official. No reason was given for the decision.

Al Baker has been credited with being the driver behind the Doha airline’s success in becoming one of the world’s top-rated carriers, joining and then playing a major role in the One World alliance.

He has been recognised as a tough negotiator with suppliers, including the major OEMs such as Boeing and Airbus.  He was recently involved in legal action with the European manufacturer in a dispute about A350s.

He has been a popular figure at industry conferences.

Times Aerospace editor-in-chief Alan Peaford said: “I have had the pleasure of dealing with Akbar for several decades and have enjoyed his sometimes controversional but always direct approach to answering questions.

“I am surprised and just a little shocked at this announcement as I fully expected him to be there for the duration.”