May 24, 2021: The governing board of the oneworld global airline alliance has appointed Qatar Airways group chief executive, Akbar Al Baker to serve as its chairman. Al Baker will succeed Alan Joyce, group CEO of Qantas Group.
Al Baker will oversee the alliance’s governance, chair oneworld’s Governing Board meetings and work closely with oneworld CEO Rob Gurney and the alliance’s management team.
He said, “As we emerge from some of the most challenging times ever facing the global airline industry, I am honoured to be chosen by my fellow board members to lead the governing board for oneworld, an alliance that has continued to expand since Covid-19 emerged, with the addition of two new members in Alaska Airlines and Royal Air Maroc.
“The pivotal role airlines and aviation play in the global economy has never been more evident than this past year, with both passenger and cargo operations in the spotlight, supporting international efforts to protect lives and livelihoods. We have collectively enabled mobilisation of aid, medical supplies and key workers and I would like to pay tribute to all the teams who have worked tirelessly across the oneworld member airlines to support these efforts.
"I look forward to serving as chairman by working with our alliance partners, oneworld CEO Rob Gurney and the oneworld team to provide more global connectivity, a seamless travel experience and more valuable loyalty offerings for our passengers."
Having led Qatar Airways since its launch in 1997, Al Baker is the longest-serving CEO of oneworld member airline. Under his leadership, Qatar Airways has grown into one of the world’s most highly-awarded airlines with an extensive global network, with plans to serve over 140 destinations by end of July 2021. Qatar Airways became a member of oneworld in October 2013.
The oneworld governing board comprises the CEOs of all the alliance’s member airlines – Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Royal Air Maroc, Royal Jordanian, S7 Airlines and SriLankan Airlines, alongside Qatar Airways.