General Travel News

Qatar Airways CEO attacks IATA for lack of transparency

SINGAPORE – Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker sparked off a tense debate about the structure of airline industry body IATA and its finances during a conference of airline bosses in Singapore this week.

In a dramatic early session of IATA’s annual general meeting, the International Air Transport Association came under fire for appearing to be “run for the few, by the few” and lacking full transparency.

Al Baker led a vocal onslaught by a number of international airlines over IATA’s failure to show clear transparency in its processes. 

He questioned the auditing process for IATA’s 2010 financial statement, and later questioned the “surprise” nomination of Etihad Chief Executive Officer James Hogan to fill the extra seat created to broaden the representation of carriers from the Middle East on IATA’s board.

Al Baker highlighted some of IATA’s expenditure, including US$18 million on travel, US$58 million on data processing and IT and US $29 million on outsourcing and consultancy. He called on IATA to justify “such large sums spent on travel” and the processes by which consultant and outsourcing contracts were awarded.

Al Baker backed a motion for IATA to reconsider the appointment of its auditors, having been unconvinced about the industry body’s financial accounts and auditing process.

Regarding the nomination of Hogan, Al Baker told the AGM: “We believe such issues should not be surprises. Firstly, such decisions should be transparent and secondly, if geographical representation is the basis of the composition of the board, the regional airlines involved should be informed in advance of their regional allotments so that they can coordinate who should represent them.”

Emirates called for greater dialogue to ensure IATA was more transparent while International Airlines Group, the holding company of British Airways, sought clarity on the entire voting process of board members.

More General Travel News
Constance Halaveli Maldives offers the luxury of space in seclusion
Multiple Langham Hotels named in 2020 Readers' Choice Award
Swiss Belhotel to open 4 new hotels in the GCC
Latest Travel News
Multiple Langham Hotels named in 2020 Re...
Swiss Belhotel to open 4 new hotels in t...
Abu Dhabi and Wizz Air announce establis...
Featured Sights To See
The Tin Hau Temple

The Tin Hau Temple

Hong Kong, China

The Tin Hau Temple is a protected monument and located on Causeway Bay. This temple is dedicated to Tin Hau, the Goddess of the Sea. It still retains a lot of the original architecture and form.  ...

St George Maronite Cathedral

St George Maronite Cathedral

Beirut, Lebanon

St. George Cathedral serves Lebanon’s Maronite Christian community.  The church dates back to 12th century crusaders, but the modern iteration was built between 1884 and 1894.  The interior design is inspired by the basilica, a large open hall dating to Roman times, specifically the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome.  The façade is neoclassical, designed by Italian architect Giuseppe Maggio...

Kuredu Island Resort

Kuredu Island Resort

Maldives, Maldives

Located on the beautiful island of Lhaviyani Atoll, Kuredu Island Resort is quite popular for its sea life, beautiful beaches and tropical plants. It is 80 miles north of the International Hulhule Airport. It has 300 rooms, tastefully decorated with bamboo furniture. There are five restaurants at the resort offering traditional Maldivian atmosphere, which is open walls and thatched roofs. The Gril...

Petronas Towers

Petronas Towers

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The Southeast Asian equivalents of the Empire State Building, the Petronas Towers are Kuala Lumpur’s most iconic buildings.  They were the tallest in the world from their completion in 1998 until 2004, when they were surpassed by Taipei 101.  The Petronas Towers rise to a height of 378m (450m including the spires).  The frame was constructed with reinforced concrete, and becau...