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Qatar Airways boss reportedly says a woman could not do his job

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Akbar al-Baker in Doha on July 13, 2017.
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One of the most powerful men in aviation has suggested that a woman would not be equipped to do his job.

Shortly after his appointment as the new chair of the International Air Transport Association's (IATA) board of governors, Akbar Al Baker, reportedly stunned reporters when asked about poor representation of women in Middle East aviation.

"Of course, it has to be led by a man, because it is a very challenging position," said Al Baker, referring to his own role as CEO of Qatar Airways.

Speaking to Bloomberg Television later, Al Baker attempted to soften his position. "I was only referring to one individual," he said. "I was not referring to the staff in general."

Al Baker then said he would welcome a female executive to succeed him at Qatar Airways.

Bloomberg News, which initially broke the story, reported that Qatar employs women pilots and senior vice presidents. The company's staff is reported as 33 percent female.

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