Qatar Airways has announced Eng. Badr Al Meer will step into the role as new Group CEO, following the retirement of H.E. Mr Akbar al Baker after 27 years of service.
Al Meer has pioneered a range of portfolios at the multi-billion-dollar company overseeing aviation, construction, and real estate development projects for more than two decades.
Since 2014, Al Meer served as the Chief Operating Officer of Hamad International Airport.
He was responsible for several critical divisions, including MATAR – the Qatar Company for Airports Operation and Management, Qatar Duty-Free, Qatar Aviation Services, Qatar Aviation Catering Company, Qatar Distribution Centre, Dhiafatina Hotels, and Qatar Airways Global Real Estate.
The move reflects Qatar’s succession planning towards fostering new leaders.
In a statement, Al Meer said: “His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker has left an indelible mark on this organisation, having built Qatar Airways from the ground up into to the world-class airline it is today – with 241 aircraft, 43,000 employees and over 160 worldwide destinations. It has been an honor to serve under his guidance, and I pay tribute to him as he heads into a new chapter.”
“For the past 10 years, I have dedicated my career to making an impact at Qatar Airways Group and am looking forward to leading our national carrier into a new era – one in which a culture of trust and empowerment will be the building blocks of our shared success.”
“In today’s dynamic and constantly evolving travel industry, I plan to invest in the priorities and concerns of my generation, and will place a renewed focus on harnessing emerging technology, developing and implementing sustainable aviation solutions, and further improving our customer experience – while simultaneously continuing the aggressive growth and world-class service we have always offered,” he said.
Al Meer was responsible for leading Hamad International Airport through significant achievements and challenges during his time, including the COVID-19 pandemic, a 10 billion QAR ($2.7 billion USD) expansion project, and the landmark FIFA World Cup 2022, when the airport welcomed more than a million visitors during this event period.
Under his leadership, Hamad International Airport has been named ‘World’s Best Airport’ by SKYTRAX in 2021 and 2022, and ‘Best Airport in the Middle East’ for nine consecutive years.
Before joining Hamad International Airport, Al Meer spent a decade at the United Development Company in Qatar, rising to Acting CEO. He oversaw the delivery of the Pearl Project, a renowned urban development venture known for its unique architecture.
Al Meer has engineering degrees from the American University of Beirut and the University of Colorado. He has extensive business insight and technical expertise in large-scale project development, engineering, and construction.
In his new role as Group CEO, Al Meer is focussed on achieving sustainable growth as he leads Qatar into a new era.
Qatar reported doubled profits last week, totalling $1.026 billion, while passenger numbers rose 22 per cent to 19 million due to higher load factors.
The airline’s profits were boosted by the return of its Airbus A350 fleet, partnerships with oneworld members, and strategic alliances across China, Europe, and Australasia.
For more information, visit qatarairways.com
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