Qatar Airways was honoured to host the 64th Annual Conference of Airline Personnel Directors’ Council (APDC) in the capital city of Doha.
The two-day conference brought together over 40 senior human resource management delegates from airlines around the world to discuss issues and challenges facing HR practices in their respective businesses, as well as those that affect the industry collectively.
With the airline industry in the State of Qatar young and flourishing at a phenomenal rate, hosting the event gave Qatar Airways the opportunity to share the successful business model that has been built during the 16 years it has been in operation with airlines from around the world. The Doha-based carrier shared its experiences and challenges with some of the legacy carriers that have been around for 60 years or more.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker officially opened the event, hosted by the airline for the second time in six years.
Speaking at the conference hotel, Oryx Rotana, he welcomed delegates with an inspiring speech in which he talked about the airline’s dramatic growth and the State of Qatar’s dynamism in undertaking scores of infrastructure projects.
With Qatar Airways being an economic vehicle for the country’s growth – a nation that is investing over US$150 billion in numerous infrastructure projects such as a new metro system, new hotels and the 2022 FIFA World Cup – recruitment opportunities are endless, said Al Baker.
“We are not retrenching, but recruiting on an unprecedented scale. It’s not about being the biggest airline or taking market share, it’s about being the best at what we do in all areas to attract customers and employees alike.”
As part of its recruitment drive, Qatar Airways is hiring Qatari nationals to train and develop them as future leaders.
The Qatar Airways Nationalisation Programme has focused on designing development programmes to create distinctive experiences for Qatari students, graduates and professionals to make them proud of Qatar Airways' success story.
The drive to hire more Qataris – both graduates and scholarship students – to join the organisation, is in line with the country’s 2030 vision for a sustainable future. The solid foundation that has been built by Qatar Airways since 1997 with a workforce drawn from aviation experts from around the world, has well positioned the airline well for further aggressive growth.
With a global group workforce of over 28,000 employees – 16,000 of which being airline staff – Qatar Airways’ staggering rise has not been unnoticed by industry peers.
Al Baker highlighted some of the HR challenges faced by the Doha-based airline that comes with growth and recruitment.
“Our workforce of over 150 nationalities work in different disciplines within the airline and our subsidiaries,” said Al Baker.
“English is a second or third language for the majority of Qatar Airways’ workforce, so undoubtedly proving a challenge as English is the working language across the industry, Qatar Airways HR department works hard to address these challenges because as a Qatari organisation that proudly preserves its Arabic culture and heritage, Qatar Airways is ultimately a global network airline.
“Our dynamic growth is due to the vision of His Highness The Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani to create an airline of the highest quality and standards flying to all corners of the world, and to be the best in the world. And we are delighted to have reached the industry summit as the best airline in the world for the past two years.”
With a total order of over 250 aircraft woth more than US$50 billion and a staggering route network growing by more than 12 new destinations each year, the job opportunities are enormous, added Al Baker.