Sydney/London/Singapore — Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker, who said his job was too difficult for a woman, has offered his "heartfelt apologies" for the comments and defended his record of promoting women. The airline boss caused a firestorm Tuesday when he said Qatar Airways had to be run by a man because of the challenges the job involved. But later he said his initial comment had been a joke. Al Baker is the new chairman of the International Air Transport Association’s board of governors, one of the world’s biggest boys’ clubs. "I would like to offer my heartfelt apologies for any offense caused by my comment yesterday, which runs counter to my track record of expanding the role of women in leadership throughout the Qatar Airways Group," Al Baker said in an emailed statement. At a conference organised by CAPA Centre for Aviation in Sydney, Al Baker was asked again to explain himself. "It was just a joke," he said. "Everybody laughed. I thought that was the end of the story." Few...

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