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Doha, QATAR – Qatar Airways was honoured to host the 64th Annual Conference of Airline Personnel Directors’ Council (APDC) in the capital city of Doha.

The two-day conference brought together over 40 senior human resource management delegates from airlines around the world to discuss issues and challenges facing HR practices in their respective businesses, as well as those that affect the industry collectively.  

With the airline industry in the State of Qatar young and flourishing at a phenomenal rate, hosting the event gave Qatar Airways the opportunity to share the successful business model that has been built during the 16 years it has been in operation with airlines from around the world. The Doha-based carrier shared its experiences and challenges with some of the legacy carriers that have been around for 60 years or more.

Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker officially opened the event, hosted by the airline for the second time in six years.

Speaking at the  conference hotel, Oryx Rotana, he welcomed delegates with an inspiring speech in which he talked about the airline’s dramatic growth and the State of Qatar’s dynamism in undertaking scores of infrastructure projects.

With Qatar Airways being an economic vehicle for the country’s growth – a nation that is investing over US$150 billion in numerous infrastructure projects such as a new metro system, new hotels and the 2022 FIFA World Cup – recruitment opportunities are endless, said Al Baker.

“We are not retrenching, but recruiting on an unprecedented scale. It’s not about being the biggest airline or taking market share, it’s about being the best at what we do in all areas to attract customers and employees alike.”

As part of its recruitment drive, Qatar Airways is hiring Qatari nationals to train and develop them as future leaders.

The Qatar Airways Nationalisation Programme has focused on designing development programmes to create distinctive experiences for Qatari students, graduates and professionals to make them proud of Qatar Airways' success story.  

The drive to hire more Qataris – both graduates and scholarship students – to join the organisation, is in line with the country’s 2030 vision for a sustainable future. The solid foundation that has been built by Qatar Airways since 1997 with a workforce drawn from aviation experts from around the world, has well positioned the airline well for further aggressive growth. 

With a global group workforce of over 28,000 employees – 16,000 of which being airline staff – Qatar Airways’ staggering rise has not been unnoticed by industry peers.

Al Baker highlighted some of the HR challenges faced by the Doha-based airline that comes with growth and recruitment.

“Our workforce of over 150 nationalities work in different disciplines within the airline and our subsidiaries,” said Al Baker.

“English is a second or third language for the majority of Qatar Airways’ workforce, so undoubtedly proving a challenge as English is the working language across the industry, Qatar Airways HR department works hard to address these challenges because as a Qatari organisation that proudly preserves its Arabic culture and heritage, Qatar Airways is ultimately a global network airline.

“Our dynamic growth is due to the vision of His Highness The Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani to create an airline of the highest quality and standards flying to all corners of the world, and to be the best in the world. And we are delighted to have reached the industry summit as the best airline in the world for the past two years.”

With a total order of over 250 aircraft woth more than US$50 billion and a staggering route network growing by more than 12 new destinations each year, the job opportunities are enormous, added Al Baker.

Qatar Airways operates a modern fleet of 124 aircraft flying to 127 key business and leisure destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and The Americas.

Qatar Airways has so far launched five destinations this year – Gassim (Saudi Arabia), Najaf (Iraq), Phnom Penh (Cambodia), Chicago (USA) and Salalah (Oman).

Over the next few weeks and months, the network will grow further with Basra and Sulaymaniyah (Iraq on June 3 and August 20 respectively), Chengdu, China (September 3) and recently-announced new routes of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (September 18), Clark International Airport, Philippines (October 28) and Philadelphia, USA (2 April 2014).

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Notes to Editors 

Qatar Airways currently has orders worth over US$50 billion for more than 250 aircraft, including Boeing 787s, 777s, Airbus A350s, A380s and A320 Family of aircraft. In addition to winning Skytrax’s prestigious Airline of the Year 2011 and 2012, Qatar Airways was named Best Airline in the Middle East for the seventh year in a row, and its Premium Terminal at Doha International Airport was named Best Premium Service Airport for the third consecutive year in 2012. Skytrax is the only global independent passenger survey monitoring airline standards and is considered the ultimate benchmark for excellence in the airline industry. In October 2012, Qatar Airways became the first of the major Gulf carriers to officially announce plans to join a global alliance having been invited into the oneworld group. For more information, visit www.qatarairways.com

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