Qatar Airways’ longstanding chief executive Akbar Al Baker is to step down from his role, the state-owned airline announced on Monday. In a statement, Qatar Airways confirmed Baker, who served the airline for 27 years, “will be stepping down from his current position as group chief executive officer effective November 5th, 2023”. It added that he will be succeeded in the position by Badr Mohammed al-Meer, who is currently chief operating officer of Doha’s Hamad International Airport. Aviation analyst Alex Macheras wrote on X, formerly Twitter, that the outgoing Qatar Airways chief told staff in a memo: “It has been an incredible privilege to lead such an exceptional global team, and the honour of a lifetime to serve my country.” Baker, who is thought to be in his early 60s, has been widely credited with transforming the fortunes of the fledgling airline he took control of in 1997, building it into an internationally recognised carrier. Qatar Airways said Baker had given the carrier “remarkable service” and highlighted his work on Hamad airport and the airline’s role in helping to deliver Qatar’s 2022 football World Cup under his leadership. On Sunday it was announced by Qatari authorities that Baker had been removed from another role he also held as chairman of the gas-rich emirate’s tourism body. No reason was given for the decision.