Qatar’s national carrier received three more awards: 2024 APEX World Class Award, APEX Award for Best Entertainment in the Middle East, and the APEX Award for Global Best Food & Beverage.
Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award presented by Airline Passenger Experience Association-and the International Flight Services Association Awards 2024, solidifying a celebration of excellence within the aviation realm.
Hosted by the APEX-IFSA 2024, this awards ceremony stands as the most significant event in the aviation calendar.
The award recognised Al Baker’s commitment to the airlines giant company, his pursuit of elevating the passenger experience on Qatar Airways, and the gold standard he has established, which has resonated throughout the global airline industry.
Upon receiving the award, the Qatar Airways CEO said: “I am honoured to accept the CEO Lifetime Achievement Award from the APEX. Over the last decades, Qatar Airways has grown to become one of the most recognisable and trusted names in the industry, synonymous with customer service quality and luxury. It is owing to the dedication of our employees across the world that our award-winning airline continues to outperform at the highest level of our industry.”
The APEX CEO Lifetime Achievement Award, which Akbar Al Baker recently received, has been a rarity in the organisation’s fifty-year history, having been awarded only six times prior to this latest recognition.
“As only the sixth-ever APEX CEO Lifetime Achievement winner in our five-decade history, we salute His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, the driving force behind Qatar Airways’ meteoric rise from its inception to a global aviation titan,” said Joe Leader, CEO of APEX, who also presented the award to Al Baker.
“His legacy epitomises the power of dedication, innovation, and fervour in sculpting an unparalleled airline customer journey.”
Qatar Airways also clinched the 2024 APEX World Class Award, a distinction that goes beyond the APEX Five Stars rating, exclusively voted upon by passengers.
“Under his masterful oversight, Qatar Airways has not just flown; the airline has soared, setting benchmarks that inspire our entire industry. As he receives this well-deserved accolade, we, at APEX, extend our deepest admiration for a leader who has truly redefined the skies,” Leader noted.
The Gulf carrier was also awarded with three more APEX Awards.
The airline secured the APEX Award for Best Entertainment in the Middle East, as well as the APEX Award for Global Best Food & Beverage. The latter award is a testament to Qatar Airways’ commitment to providing top-quality in-flight dining experiences, solely based on verified and certified passenger feedback.
Man behind Qatar Airways
Under Al Baker’s stewardship, Qatar Airways has achieved several significant milestones.
At the time of Akbar Al Baker’s appointment in 1997, Qatar Airways was still in its early stages. However, by 2003, the airline had significantly expanded its fleet from just four aircraft to 28.
This growth continued, with the fleet reaching 42 in 2005, 110 in 2015, and surpassing 200 in 2019. Under Al Baker’s leadership, Qatar Airways also expanded its list of destinations, increasing from 56 in 2005 and 70 in 2015 to over 160 at present.
The airline is now a seven-time winner of Skytrax’s “World’s Best Airline” rank following votes in 2011, 2012, 2015, 2017, 2019, 2021, and 2022.
Al Baker’s efforts were recognised in 2015 by then-French president Francois Hollande, who awarded the aviation executive the Legion of Honour.
In March 2017, the airline introduced the groundbreaking Qsuite, an upgraded version of Business Class featuring the aviation industry’s first-ever double beds. This innovation provided passengers with a luxurious and private flying experience, marking a notable achievement in the airline’s history.