Al Baker has joined the organisation’s executive body for a three-year term. The committee, which meets twice a year, is comprised of eight other airline representatives and Chairperson Mrs. Ghaida Abdullatif, Director General and Chief Executive Officer of Syrian Arab Airlines.
Established in 1965, AACO is a non-profit organisation made up of 24 Arab member airlines, which aims to promote cooperation, quality and safety standards among Arab League air carriers.
A delighted Al Baker said being appointed to the AACO committee was a great honour and that he looked forward to continue working with member airlines in his new capacity.
“With the formidable rise of air passenger traffic and new regional players to this ever-exciting industry, a regional framework where partners gather, collaborate and raise the profile of the many exceptional airlines in the Middle East, only brings benefits to all concerned within the AACO membership,” he said.
“When I was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Qatar Airways 14 years ago, my goal was for the company to become the best airline in the world. We achieved that this year, but I also had a goal for Arab aviation as a whole, for it to reach the pinnacle of the world’s aviation industry.
“It is my aim to continue the good work of AACO and help raise the bar for member airlines in this highly competitive industry. At Qatar Airways, we strive to excel in everything we do, and I am extremely proud to be working alongside some of the best airlines in the world to ensure the Arab aviation industry continues to prosper.”
Al Baker has been at the helm of Qatar Airways as CEO since its launch in 1997 and has since steered the Doha-based airline into an award-winning global carrier serving over 100 destinations with a modern fleet of 100 aircraft.
AACO is holding its Annual General Meeting in Abu Dhabi in November, where CEOs of member airlines will determine AACO strategies and working plans for 2012.
Doha-based Qatar Airways flies to over 100 diverse business and leisure destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, North America and South America with a modern fleet of 100 aircraft. By 2013, the airline plans to serve more than 120 destinations worldwide with a fleet of over 120 aircraft. Recently named Airline of the Year 2011 in the prestigious annual Skytrax passenger survey, Qatar Airways operates one of the youngest fleet of aircraft in the skies today. It has orders worth over US$ 40 billion for more than 200 aircraft, including Boeing 787s, 777s, Airbus A350s, A380s, A320 Family of aircraft and Bombardier corporate jets.
Since the beginning of the year, Qatar Airways has added 11 new routes to its burgeoning global network – Bucharest (Romania), Budapest (Hungary), Brussels (Belgium), Stuttgart (Germany), Aleppo (Syria), Shiraz (Iran), Venice (Italy), Montreal (Canada), Medina (Saudi Arabia), Kolkata (India), and Sofia (Bulgaria).
Over the next few weeks, Qatar Airways expands its services to the Norwegian capital Oslo, beginning October 5; and Entebbe in Uganda from November 2. 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.