The governing board of the Oneworld alliance has appointed Qatar Airways group CEO Akbar Al Baker as chairman.
Al Baker (pictured above) succeeds Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce, who had served in the role since September 2018.
Having led Qatar Airways since its launch in 1997, Al Baker is the longest-serving CEO of a Oneworld member airline. Qatar Airways became a member of Oneworld in October 2013.
An influential figure in the global aviation industry, Al Baker served as chairman of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) from June 2018 to June 2019, and has served on IATA’s board since 2012.
He is also a member of the executive committee of the Arab Air Carriers Organisation and a non-executive director of Heathrow Airport Holdings. In addition, he serves as secretary-general of Qatar National Tourism Council.
As chairman of Oneworld, Al Baker will oversee the alliance’s governance, chair its board meetings and work closely with Oneworld CEO Rob Gurney and the alliance’s management team.
“On behalf of the alliance, we want to thank Mr Joyce for his leadership of Oneworld, including during a challenging period for the industry,” Gurney said.
“Since Qatar Airways joined Oneworld in 2013, it has been a leading contributor to the alliance, and we are honoured to have his excellency Mr Al Baker serve as our next governing board chairman.
“We look forward to working with him to further strengthen and grow the alliance, as we position Oneworld for an industry recovery.”
Commenting on his appointment, Al Baker, said: “I am honoured to have been chosen by my fellow board members to head the Oneworld alliance governing board at a time when the industry is facing its biggest challenge.
“To represent and lead the Oneworld alliance is a tremendous privilege, and I am grateful for the opportunity to represent an alliance that has played a pivotal role in maintaining global connectivity to support the transportation of essential workers, medical equipment and aid supplies throughout the pandemic.
“I look forward to serving as chairman of the governing board and 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.”
Joyce said: “As a founding member of Oneworld, it has been an honour to serve as the chairman of the alliance. Akbar is well placed to guide Oneworld on its ongoing transformation, and we look forward to working with him and member airlines to deliver even more value to Oneworld customers.”
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, SriLankan Airlines and Qatar Airways.