Release #: 17.34
July 11, 2017

Statement Regarding Chauvinistic Remarks by Qatar Airways CEO

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, in response to recent remarks by Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker that exposed the airline’s sexist hiring practices, Capt. Tim Canoll, president of the Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA), issued the following statement:

“The head of Qatar Airways sunk to a new low recently when he disparaged hard-working U.S. crewmembers and airlines that represent $1.5 trillion in economic activity. Akbar Al Baker’s sexist and degrading remarks are an affront to our core values as a country, and he owes U.S. airline workers an apology. 

“If Mr. Al Baker’s airline actually competed in the open market, his customers would express their outrage over these comments by refusing to purchase tickets on his airline. However, since the company is wholly subsidized by the government of Qatar, there will likely be no economic ramifications for his insults. The fact is that the only reason he even has an airline to operate is because his government props it up. 

“It is time for the Trump administration to enforce our free trade ‘Open Skies’ agreements and ensure that American workers—10 million whose jobs are at risk—have a level playing field. ALPA calls on U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to raise these issues today in his meetings with the Qatar government, which owns and operates Qatar Airways.”

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the largest airline pilot union in the world and represents over 57,000 pilots at 33 U.S. and Canadian airlines. Visit the ALPA website at or follow us on Twitter @WeAreALPA.


CONTACT: ALPA Media, 703-481-4440 or