FILE PHOTO Qatar Airways Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker gestures as he tours the stand of the company at the International Tourism Trade Fair in Berlin
INTERNATIONAL - The head of Qatar Airways apologised yesterday for saying that a woman could not do his job, while global airlines pledged to speed up efforts to break down gender imbalances in aviation. 

Qatar Airways chief executive Akbar Al Baker said his remarks at the closing of a global airlines gathering on Tuesday had been intended as a joke and taken out of context. 

He defended his airline’s record of gender diversity, saying 44percent of its staff were female, including some in senior positions. “It was just a joke I apologise for it,” Al Baker said. 

- REUTERS