September 20, 2023
Qatar Airways’ Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, Honored with APEX CEO Lifetime Achievement Award  

LONG BEACH, CA (20 September 2023) – The Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) honored Qatar Airways’ Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker as the recipient of the CEO Lifetime Achievement Award on Wednesday, 20 September, during the APEX/IFSA Awards Ceremony at APEX/IFSA Global EXPO. This award recognizes industry leaders and their long-term efforts, commitment, and dedication to the enhancement of the passenger experience. APEX celebrates leadership visionaries who, not only elevate their own brand, but also inspire progress across the aviation landscape.   

“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. His relentless pursuit of excellence has ushered in groundbreaking in-flight entertainment, the revolutionary Qsuite experience, which ignited a competitive surge among global airlines in business class luxury, and a service quality that transcends the conventional five-star rating to achieve an APEX World Class status. His legacy epitomizes the power of dedication, innovation, and fervor in sculpting an unparalleled airline customer journey,” said Dr. Joe Leader, APEX CEO. 

Under H.E. Mr. Al Baker’s visionary leadership, Qatar Airways has consistently set industry benchmarks and inspired global trends, including: 

  • Innovation in Passenger Comfort: The introduction of the Qsuite, which helped spark a trend of suite doors in business class across leading global airlines. 
  • World-Class In-flight Entertainment: Offering one the world’s most extensive in-flight entertainment libraries, prompting airlines worldwide to further enhance their onboard content portfolios. 
  • Pandemic Response and Health Measures: Maintaining the most global connectivity during the pandemic and instituting gold-standard health-check procedures, influencing airlines globally to elevate their health and safety measures. 
  • Customer-Centric Approach: Achieving global acclaim, Qatar Airways showcases a service ethos that prioritizes travelers’ needs and desires, setting a gold standard in passenger satisfaction. 
  • Diverse Culinary Offerings: In the realm of aviation gastronomy, Qatar Airways has set culinary trends with its gourmet in-flight dining. Collaborations with renowned chefs have further elevated their onboard menu offerings. 
  • Seamless Connectivity and Network Expansion: With its strategic vision, Qatar Airways has crafted a blueprint for global connectivity, optimizing flight routes and ensuring passengers experience minimal layover times. For extended layovers, the airline fostered national innovations, making a stopover in Qatar seamless for their travelers. 
  • Personalized Services for Diverse Accessibility Needs: Qatar’s flagship carrier stands out for its emphasis on inclusivity, offering tailored services that cater to the diverse needs of its global clientele requiring accessibility services. 
  • Pioneering In-flight Connectivity: Leading the charge in technological advancements, Qatar Airways generously offers complimentary connectivity packages to its loyal passengers, raising the bar for in-flight digital experiences. 

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “I am deeply honoured to accept the CEO Lifetime Achievement Award from the Airline Passenger Experience Association. Over the last decades, Qatar Airways has grown to become one of the most recognizable 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 top level of our industry. I would like to thank the APEX team for their recognition and hope to continue surpassing all expectations for Qatar Airways in the years to come.” 

During the event, H.E. Mr. Al Baker also accepted the airline’s 2024 APEX World Class Award, a step beyond APEX Five Stars voted exclusively by passengers. In addition, 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 honor is based solely on verified and certified passenger feedback.  


About the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX)  
As a global non-profit and one of the world’s largest international airline associations, APEX advances passenger experience with the backing of nearly every major airline and valued supplier over the past five decades years.  In conjunction with both the International Flight Services Association (IFSA) and Future Travel Experience (FTE), APEX serves the full spectrum of the end-to-end travel experience. APEX reinvests all its resources to serving its members, strengthening the worldwide airline industry, advancing thought-leadership, fostering business opportunities via events, developing global initiatives, setting key airline standards, and highlighting well-deserved recognition across our industry.  

About Qatar Airways   
A multiple award-winning airline, Qatar Airways won the ‘World’s Best Business Class’ for the tenth time at the 2023 World Airline Awards, managed by the international air transport rating organization, Skytrax. The airline continues to be synonymous with excellence, also taking home, Best Airline in the Middle East, World’s Best Business Class Lounge and World’s Best Business Class Lounge Dining at the prestigious awards held during the 2023 Paris Air Show. Qatar Airways is an unprecedented seven-time winner of the “World’s Best Airline” voted by Skytrax (2011, 2012, 2015, 2017, 2019, 2021 and 2022). 

Qatar Airways currently flies to more than 160 destinations worldwide, connecting through its Doha hub, Hamad International Airport, voted by Skytrax as the ‘World’s Best Airport’ in 2021 and 2022 consecutively. This year, Hamad International Airport has been ranked by Skytrax as the second-best airport in the world, and received the ‘Best Airport in the Middle East’ accolade for the ninth time in a row, as well as ‘World’s Best Airport Shopping’. 

Media Contact 
Kevin Mendoza