Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive HE Akbar al-Baker has urged aircraft engine manufacturers and fuel producers help aviation industry achieve better environment performance.
“Going back to our business, I think the community should really put lot of pressure on environment improvement. And this can be done only by putting the two industries in our field on the spot- those who produce fuel and people who produce aircraft engines,” al-Baker said at a panel session during the Qatar Aviation Aeropolitical and Regulatory Summit 2020 on Thursday.
Al-Baker said the aviation industry was often blamed for deterioration in the environment.
“It is really a big challenge for our growth in the industry,” he noted.
“At the IATA Board of Governors level, I have insisted that we should take a lead and have a big conference at the international level to let people realise that spotlight is on the two manufacturers to come and do things to improve our environment. The onus is on them,” al-Baker said.
“But this will take huge investment. But they (aircraft engine manufacturers and fuel producers) will also get huge returns on these investments.
“With regard to bio-fuel, I know people are hesitating because it is four or five times costlier than the fuel that currently powers our aeroplanes. But they do not realise that aviation has such a huge growth market, and when they start producing, they will get far higher returns on investments than they are getting today. But they need to get into the economies of scale to be able to benefit,” al-Baker stressed.
On getting more females into the aviation industry, al-Baker said, “In Qatar Airways, we emphasise a lot on recruiting females in our company. More than 44% of the staff in Qatar Airways are female. And we have many Qatari female graduate developees who will eventually take up management positions in Qatar Airways. Some of them are sitting here today.”
He said, “We have lots of engineers who are female. Several of them are local females holding senior positions in our maintenance facilities. We want to encourage them…in the past, priority was given to males.”
“I am not disappointed with the numbers we have. But I would like to see more ladies in our senior management positions,” al-Baker said.
He also said that in Qatar Airways, more than 140 cabin crew, majority female, are waiting for their turn to start training as second officers.
“This is because; we can train only a limited number of people. They get a serial number, so they have to wait anywhere between a year to year and a half to start taking second officer training. But they already fly as cabin crew although they are trained as they have their commercial pilot licence.”
Al-Baker also urged the aviation industry to kindle an interest in aviation among young people.
“I know there is a lot of interest for people to become pilots. But there is not much interest in more interesting things in our industry. Undoubtedly, pilots are well paid. But there are other interesting things too in our industry,” al-Baker said.
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