qatar airways

Is Qatar Airways Still The Best Despite ILO Report?

It seems everyone appreciates luxury travel.

Once again the World Airline Awards is recognizing Qatar Airways as the top airline in the world. With it’s plush cabins and high end appointments, Qatar Airways has enough to make the choosiest traveler happy.

The airline has everything from cabin booths (think first-class seating on steroids) with noise canceling headphones to Giorgio Armani toiletries. Travelers are given throw quilts and luxury pillows rather than those itchy throw-away blankets one usually gets when flying.


Qatar Airways is on the cutting edge and keeps growing and expanding. They have even started working with Airbus to deliver a 3D printed plane, it’s most cutting-edge advancement to date. But not everyone is happy with the way Qatar Airways runs it’s business, but the ownership really doesn’t care.

The International Labor Organization (ILO) has published a scathing discrimination report alleging discriminatory practices in the treatment of female employees. Akbar Al Baker, chief executive of Qatar Airways, known for blunt remarks about staffing complaints has indicated that he couldn’t care less, and it is just racial discrimination against him and his company.

“I don’t give a damn about the ILO – I am there to run a successful airline,” Al Baker reportedly said at the Paris Air Show. “This is evidence of a vendetta they have against Qatar Airways and my country. My country has responded to the ILO accusations in a very robust way. We clarified the clauses in our contract.”

The main complaint surrounds dismissal of many female employees. Qatar Airways has a history of dismissing employees for become pregnant, and this includes those who are married. They have also terminated female employees who are dropped off at work by men who are not in their immediate family.

Baker, who goes by Al Baker, believes his company is progressive, and says he has made policy adjustments in order to sign new contracts around the world. Others agree that Qatar Airways is being singled out because they are Muslim owned and run. Saj Ahmed, the chief analyst at StrategicAero Research believes that Al Baker has been targeted because of his country of origin and his outspoken nature.

“It’s no surprise that Qatar Airways dismisses this report, especially since the carrier has made efforts to change contracts and working practices. These changes aren’t just to deflect criticism, but it also helps the airline recruit as it expands,” Ahmad told Al Arabiya News.

“There are plenty of other industries where the ILO fails to make impact, so its pursuit of Qatar Airways is perhaps short-sighted and misguided,” he added. “To single out Qatar Airways this way is counter-productive and it’s not a surprise that Abkar Al Baker rejected their findings. “Ultimately, Qatar Airways has to be allowed to enact staff contracts that benefit the business and the employee… both sides need the other and the ILO should be facilitating that instead of taking the easy route of finger-pointing.”

Could you overlook Quatar Airways discriminatory practices in order to enjoy the luxury travel?