Qatar Airways eyes hiring 900 pilots as part of growth plan

Doha: Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, H E Akbar Al Baker said yesterday that they have not seen any labour shortage in the state-owned flag carrier airlines, and they are looking to hire 900 pilots as part of their growth plan.

He disclosed this in a press briefing at the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) 78th Annual General Meeting (AGM) and World Air Transport Summit (WATS) being held in the country.

Al Baker revealed that they are inundated with applications wanting to join the airlines. 

“Just to give you an example, we are in need of around 900 additional pilots because of our growth plan, [and] we received 20,000 applications.”

 He also said that in a city where they had an Open Day for cabin crew recruitment, 25,000 people applied which he emphasised showed the “interest generating as an airline.”

On the IATA’s target of net zero carbon emission by 2050, Al Baker said this will be “really challenging” and he hopes that they’ll be able to meet it. “The issue is not only with the airlines, it is also with the suppliers.” 

He further stated that to be able to address this, a collective effort between industries is needed.

He continued that aviation industry is the “target of global warming, greenhouse gases, the emission percentage is just around 2 percent, people are forgetting that shipping, [is] many times more than us. So we need to really be frank about the general public that they need to know that we shouldn’t be the target.” 

According to Air Transport Action Group, the global aviation industry produces around 2.1 percent of all human-induced carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Aviation is responsible for 12 percent of CO2 emissions from all transport sources, compared to 74 percent from road transport, it explained.

On the comprehensive air transport agreement with the State of Qatar and European Union (EU), Al Baker said the undertaking is a win-win for both. 

“Services is important for Europe, and is important for us to connect Hamad International Airport as a hub to the world,” he said.

He pointed out that the agreement will “gradually increase frequencies” over a period of nearly five years. The aviation agreement creates a playing field resulting in new air transport opportunities and economic benefits for both sides including: all EU airlines will be able to operate direct flights from any airport in the EU to Qatar and vice versa for Qatari airlines; and strong provisions on open and fair competition will guarantee a level playing field, among others.

Over six million passengers travelled per year between the EU and Qatar.

IATA’s 78th AGM and WATS will conclude today at Sheraton Grand Doha. Among the topics that will be discussed on the third and last day are WATS: Focus on sustainability; and WATS: Focus on regulatory and financial challenges.