Qatar Airways’ longstanding chief executive Akbar Al Baker is to step down from his role at the state-owned airline, Qatari local media reported on Monday. According to the reports which cited a memo to staff, Baker, who led the firm for over 25 years, is due to step down from November 5. Aviation analyst Alex Macheras wrote on the social media platform X, formerly Twitter, that the outgoing Qatar Airways chief told staff “it has been an incredible privilege to lead such an exceptional global team, and the honour of a lifetime to serve my country”. Qatar Airways did not immediately respond to requests for comment from AFP. Baker 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. 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.