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Qatar Airways CEO, Who Wants Stake in American Airlines, Calls U.S. Flight Attendants “Crap”

Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways CEO, also said U.S. passengers are “always being served by grandmothers.” Qatar Airways wants to buy a 10-percent stake in American Airlines.

Akbar Al Baker

Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker apologized this week after calling U.S. flight attendants “crap” and saying they are “grandmothers.”

The comments, condemned by the Association of American Flight Attendants (AFA), may complicate Al Baker’s bid to buy a 10-percent stake in American Airlines.

BBC News reported on Al Baker’s comments, and his apology, on Thursday:

The chief executive of Qatar Airways has apologised for comments he made about flight attendants that were condemned as both sexist and ageist.

In a speech at a dinner in Ireland last week, Akbar Al Baker said US airlines were “crap” and their passengers were “always being served by grandmothers”.

He also boasted that “the average age of my cabin crew is only 26”.

On Wednesday, Mr Al Baker said the “careless” remarks did not reflect his “true sentiments about cabin crew”.

Qatar Airways is pursuing a 10-percent stake in American Airlines, even though American recently ended a code-sharing agreement with Qatar Airways over their “stance against the illegal subsidies that these carriers receive from their governments.” Reuters reported on Qatar’s bid on Wednesday.

Will American Airline’s executive team, and its shareholders, support the transaction after Qatar Airways’ CEO insulted American flight attendants?