Qatar Air CEO refutes staff claims in Swedish media

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The CEO of Qatar Airways has dismissed claims made in a Swedish newspaper that alleged unfair treatment of its employees.

The article in the Expressen newspaper was based around the experiences of three unnamed former employees of the airline – two cabin crew members and one pilot.

They told tales of punishments for breaking curfews, being under constant surveillance, and facing restrictions on relationships between crew members.

Employees could also be fired with no warning, they said.

But Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker said the reporter who wrote the article was "throwing stones for no reason at all".

When asked to respond to the allegations, Al Baker was quoted by Qatar Today as saying: “Like any other organisation, we terminate nonperforming employees and these are allegations made by ex-QA staff."

He added: "This is not against Qatar Airways but against my home country. They are throwing stones at my country for no reason at all.”

Responding on Twitter to the remarks by Al Baker, Swedish journalist Johanna Karlsson said: “Not everyone interviewed in the piece are, to use Al Baker's words, terminated crew.”

In the Espressen story, a Qatar Airways spokeswoman said that the airline couldn’t comment on the allegations made, as the former staff members involved were unnamed.

The media report follows claims last year by an international labour union which criticised Qatar’s national carrier.

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) slammed Qatar Airways for certain stipulations found in the standard hiring contracts for female cabin crew members, including the need to apply for permission before getting married.

The ITF lobbied the ICAO (the International Civil Aviation Organization) to take action on what it termed “flagrant abuses of aviation workers’ labour rights” by carriers based in Qatar and the UAE.

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Posted by: Patrick @QA ex - Cabin

I worked fir QA for more than 10 years as Licensed Aircraft Engineer.I was assigned at Cabin and give my full effort and dedication to my works . . I was terminated last April 1023 due to Falsification of Documents?? Can you imagine after 10 years they just now do a Back Ground Check on my file ?? Funny isn't it??

I knew that their is someone behind this.. and the Management just kick me off on my Job with out any compensation.. I was totally down and helpless that time.. BUT ONE THING I THANKS FOR IS THAT.... I WAS FREE FROM HELl !!!!
QA is a HELL...

Posted by: Qatar Airways Gold Member

Funny, regarding the guy saying that if the crew was being loud in the galley you'd have to pick who should be fired. That was not the case when one member of the cabin crew was standing there talking about preferring not to date Indian men because they have "small sized" penises in the galley, this while the back of the plane was full of mothers. Cabin crew need to stop overdramatising the situation, some of them need to behave in a decent manner before complaining because we see them around Doha & Dubai & how they behave in bars, clubs, parties & other events. So save us the exaggerated sob stories.

Posted by: who2

I cant believe this comment in its entirety was even published.
Or maybe I can!

Posted by: Another ex cabin crew

I am also Ex Qatar Airways Cabin Crew. Firstly I would like to say that all QA crew sign a non-disclosure agreement upon joining Qatar Airways and are threatened with legal action if they do speak out about anything regarding the company. This is why ex crew do not want to be named.

All the accusations made in the article are true. I had to resign from the company after an incident with a passenger. A passenger slapped me on the back and I asked for some kind of action to be taken and instead of the warning given to the passenger, I had to kneel in front of the passenger and apologize. After which I was called into the office given a warning letter. A direct quote from the VP cabin services Mr Saliya ;" In the Middle East there are only 3 mayor airlines, so our passengers can call you however they want." I was appalled by this statement. I had to apologize just to make sure I was not sacked. All these things that are being said are true and so much more.

Posted by: Ex-crew

I am an ex-crew myself, I had worked as a QR cabin crew for almost four years. Mr. AlBaker mentioned during our first meeting with him upon joining the company was that he came from a very rich family, he was himself a very wealthy individual and he had infinite resources to fight against anyone who stood against him. According to him, as long as there were third world countries, he would always have employees. Everything that has been said about how the crew are treated is TRUE. More than that, passengers know how little respect (if any at all) the management has for the crew. Incidents like not switching off mobile phones, not fastening seat belts, smoking onboard are happening on a day to day basis. We had cases when the passenger threw hot coffee on the cabin crew, slapped or punched them. Yet if a passenger complained about noise coming from the galley, he was invited to the QR tower together with the crew operating that flight and asked to pick which one to be fired. It's a shame

Posted by: A Passenger

Ditch the dated nationalism Mr. Al Baker. If your airline wants to be a global player, then act like one and methodically refute, or quietly learn from, criticism as appropriate. The last thing a first world employer says is that complaints about his corporation are "against my country". Incidentally I am a Gold member.

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