I’m absolutely shocked that Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker has released an apology…or at least a non-apology mea culpa…for his controversial comments about the age of U.S. flight attendants.
Here’s the statement, not from Akbar himself but from the PR firm representing Qatar Airways:
I should like to apologise unreservedly to those offended by my recent remarks which compared Qatar Airways cabin crew with cabin crew on US carriers. The remarks were made informally at a private gala dinner, following comments about the Qatar Airways cabin service, and were in no way intended to cause offence. This is a time of strong rivalry between our airline and the US carriers, and we are of course immensely proud of our own cabin crew. However, cabin crew are the public face of all airlines, and I greatly respect their hard work and professionalism. They play a huge role in the safety and comfort of passengers, irrespective of their age or gender or familial status. I have worked for many years in the industry, and I have a high regard for the value that I see long-serving staff members bringing through their experience and dedication.
I know, I know. He apologies to “those offended” rather than for the statement itself. He also seems to defend his statement rather than show remorse for her.
But I’ll give him credit for at least doing this. I don’t think we can expect anything more from Akbar. Furthermore, his last-sentence provides a strong defense of veterans FAs, like so many in the United States.
What do you think of the apology? Something he was just dragged into or an attempt to make peace?