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Qatar Airways Ceo Delivers Inspiring Keynote Leadership Address At Georgetown University Gala Dinner

The topic of Al Baker’s address was Leadership Lessons: What I Have Learned In Over 25 Years of Business.

His address highlighted the blueprint behind Qatar Airways’ success, and how it began with a vision set out by His Highness The Emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani to be the best airline in the world, with the highest standards of service and excellence.

“Visionaries are often known not for the number of successes under their belt but for how they think, how creative they are, and the long standing contributions they made,” said Al Baker.

“These are the types of individuals who write chapters in history.”

In his signature, candid and frank speaking style, he spoke about key characteristics that define leadership, and the traits which he has developed over time in order to steer the business along the right path through rough and smooth times.

“The economic environment continues to change and to be an effective leader you have to be good at navigating these challenges,” he added.

“What is essential is to make a mark. So be creative. Be different. Speak your mind, and don’t be afraid to be controversial.

“At Qatar Airways, we adapt to changing economic conditions very quickly and easily. We are not a monolithic organisation that takes time to change. We are small enough to grasp what is happening and adapt accordingly. Our business model is such that we do not rely on any single market to keep our business going.”

The airline reached the pinnacle of its success when it was awarded the Airline of the Year 2011 by Skytrax, an independent travel industry monitor which receives votes from 18 million passengers worldwide.

Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar organised a three-day leadership seminar ending tomorrow, where emerging youth leaders from around the region, as well as experts from a broad range of industries participated.

Uniting youth visionaries, the seminar is aimed at empowering participants through a variety of lectures, workshops, round table sessions and group exercises.

Qatar Airways operates a modern fleet of 108 aircraft to 113 destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, North America and South America.

During 2011, Qatar Airways inducted 15 diverse destinations into its network. As part of its 2012 expansion programme, Qatar Airways recently launched flights to the capital cities of Tbilisi in Georgia, Baku in Azerbaijan and Kigali in Rwanda.

The airline has a further 11 new routes to launch during 2012, namely Perth (Australia), Zagreb (Croatia), Gassim (Saudi Arabia), Helsinki (Finland), Belgrade (Serbia), Erbil (Iraq), Baghdad (Iraq), Yangon (Myanmar), Mombasa (Kenya), Zanzibar (Tanzania) and Kilimanjaro (Tanzania).

Qatar Airways has orders worth over US$ 50 billion for more than 250 aircraft, including Boeing 787s, 777s, Airbus A350s, A380s and A320 Family of aircraft. The rapid expansion of Qatar Airways prompted the State of Qatar to embark on one of its biggest projects – the construction of a brand new international airport in Doha, which is scheduled to open in 2012.

In addition to winning Skytrax’s prestigious Airline of the Year 2011 award during the summer, Qatar Airways was named Best Airline in the Middle East for the sixth year in a row, and its Premium Terminal at Doha International Airport was named Best First Class Airline Lounge. For more information, visit www.qatarairways.com. Skytrax is the only global independent passenger survey monitoring airline standards and is considered the ultimate benchmark for excellence in the airline industry.

Qatar Airways Group, Corporate Communications Department
Tel: +974 44302072, Fax: +974 44302069
E-mail: qrmedia@qatarairways.com.qa
Website: www.qatarairways.com

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