The successor to longtime Qatar Airways chief executive Akbar Al Baker has been revealed by the airline just hours after the soon-to-be departed aviation executive surprised many by suddenly announcing he was stepping down from his role.
With his departure set for November 5, 2023, Al Baker is to be replaced at the helm of the Qatar Airways Group by Badr Mohammed Al-Meer, a Qatari national who has been the chief operating officer at Hamad International Airport since 2014.
Little is known about Al-Meer, although he is credited with transforming Doha’s Hamad International Airport and previously worked directly for Qatar Airways as its senior vice president of facilities management and capital projects.
Al-Meer’s work history and education are rooted in construction and engineering and he reportedly holds degrees in engineering from the American University of Beirut and the University of Colorado.
He also previously worked for United Development Company which is a Qatari public shareholding company and Qatar’s leading construction firm.
What he will bring to Qatar Airways, however, is yet to be revealed. On Monday evening, Qatar Airways eventually acknowledged that veteran leader Al Baker, who has led the airline since 1997, was stepping down with just two weeks’ notice.
In a surprisingly short statement that didn’t directly thank Al Baker but simply noted the airline’s achievements under his leadership, a spokesperson for Qatar Airways confirmed the appointment of Badr Mohammed Al-Meer.
Neither Al-Meer or Al Baker publicly commented on the news.
The Qatar Airways Group is a sprawling government-owned entity that controls a variety of organisations connected with the country’s aviation industry, including Hamad International Airport, Discover Qatar, Qatar Duty Free, Qatar Aviation Services, and Qatar Aircraft Catering Company.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.