Qatar Airways, the world’s 10th largest air carrier, has been rocked by scandalous reports from the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) about the treatment of its workers. The ITF's report claims female flight attendants must remain single for the first five years of work, that they must report pregnancies to Qatar Airways and that they could be fired for becoming pregnant or getting married.

In remarks to CNN's Richard Quest, QA chief Akbar Baker has rebuffed claims that his airline's flight attendants are sacked if they get married, saying "that is not true. That is a load of bull****."

"These rumors that are being circulated are not true," he added.

According to The Daily Mail, the ITF accused Qatar Aiways of having outrageous rules in the contracts for female flight attendants at Qatar Airways, including:

  • Female flight attendants can only be hired if they are single
  • They must remain single for at least five years after starting work
  • If they want to get married, they have to ask the airline's permission
  • Female flight attendants must notify the airline immediately if they become pregnant
  • Pregnancy is a breach of contract and can lead to firing (which means deportation, for foreign staff)

Last year, Qatar Airways CEO Baker explained to Reuters that the pregnancy restrictions only apply to employees who have worked for less than three years, as local regulations do not allow pregnant flight attendants to fly and that there are only so many ground jobs available for employees.

Baker went on to say that the terms of employment are clearly stated and that "mature" individuals who accept them shouldn't complain. Qatar Airways did not respond to StepFeed's  email seeking comment.

Voted Airline of the Year in 2011 and 2012 in the prestigious Skytrax industry audit, Qatar Airways has so far won the confidence of the public, however the ITF believes that the truth needs to be revealed.