MIAMI – In an unexpected move, oneworld Alliance has named Qatar Airways Group CEO H.E. Akbar Al Baker Chairman of the Governing Board.

He succeeds Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce, who served in this position since September 2018. The Chairman of the Governing Board oversees the alliance’s governance, chair oneworld’s Governing Board meetings, and works closely with oneworld CEO Rob Gurney and the alliance’s management team.

“I am honoured to have been chosen by my fellow board members to head the Oneworld alliance Governing Board at a time when the industry is facing its biggest challenge." H.E. Akbar Al Baker on his new position at oneworld Click To Tweet
Photo: Brandon Farris/Airways

An influential Figure in the Aviation Industry

H.E. Mr. Al Baker, who has led QR since its launch in 1997, is the longest-serving CEO of an airline member of the oneworld Alliance since its membership in October 2013. needless to say, under his guidance, QR has become one of the most awarded airlines, developing an extensive global network with plans to serve over 140 destinations within July 2021.

An influential figure in the global aviation industry, he served as Chairman of the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Board of Governors from June 2018 to June 2019 and is on the IATA’s Board of Governors since 2012.

He is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Arab Air Carriers Organisation and a non-executive Director of Heathrow Airport Holdings. In addition, he serves as Secretary-General of the Qatar National Tourism Council.

The CEO commented on his new position, “To represent and lead the oneworld alliance is a tremendous privilege, and I am grateful for the opportunity to represent an alliance that has played a pivotal role in maintaining global connectivity to support the transportation of essential workers, medical equipment, and aid supplies throughout the pandemic.”

Qatar Airways Boeing 777 in oneworld Livery – Photo : oneworld media

Comments from Alliance Ex-chairman, CEO

Outgoing Chairman Alan Joyce said, “As a founding member of oneworld, it has been an honour to serve as the Chairman of the alliance. Akbar is well placed to guide Oneworld on its ongoing transformation and we look forward to working with him and member airlines to deliver even more value to Oneworld customers.”

Oneworld CEO Rob Gurney concluded by saying, “On behalf of the alliance, we want to thank Mr. Joyce for his leadership of Oneworld, including during a challenging period for the industry. Since Qatar Airways joined Oneworld in 2013, it has been a leading contributor to the alliance and we are honored to have His Excellency Mr. Al Baker serve as our next Governing Board Chairman.”

Gurney added, “We look forward to working with him to further strengthen and grow the alliance, as we position Oneworld for industry recovery.”

Oneworld brings together 14 world-class airlines – Alaska Airlines (AS), American Airlines (AA), British Airways (BA), Cathay Pacific Airways (CX), Finnair (AY), Iberia (IB), Japan Airlines (JL), Malaysia Airlines (MH), Qantas (QF), Qatar Airways (QR), Royal Air Maroc (AT), Royal Jordanian (RJ), S7 Airlines (S7) and SriLankan Airlines (UL), and more than 20 of their affiliates.

Featured Image: Brandon Farris/Airways