Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways

Akbar Al Baker

Power and control

Akbar Al Baker relishes being at the centre of the action within the Qatar Airways group. He runs the airline and eight divisions – including Doha airport – and is overseeing the development of its successor. He has a firm grip on every aspect of the business, so it is no surprise that during our interview there are regular interruptions for varied queries or updates. But Al Baker takes delight in the control he exerts and his enthusiasm for the job appears undiminished despite this being his fifteenth year as chief executive.
“I enjoy it. It’s a challenge, it’s achieving something – serving my country at a time when Qatar is such a bright spot on the world economic map and being an ambassador for my country.”
But should Al Baker decide he has had enough, he will not be found relaxing on a beach. “When I leave here I still have my other businesses to run,” he says.

Key Facts

  • Qatar Airways is averaging 20% growth and carried more than 16 million passengers during its 2010/11 fiscal year (to 31 March).

  • During 2011 the airline launched its 100th route (Aleppo, Syria, on 6 April) and will take delivery of its 100th airliner. It has more than 170 aircraft on backlog.

  • In FY 2009/10 [to 31 March] the Qatar Airways group recorded a profit of $205 million, half of which was made by the airline.

  • The airline’s first Boeing 787s are due for delivery in early 2012 and will progressively replace Airbus A330-200s on European, Asian and African services.


In Pictures: Qatar Airways