In a Trumpesque backtrack he blamed on the media sensationalising his comment (which means they reported what he said, how and where he said it, factually and he didn’t think anyone would notice), Qatar’s CEO apologised and drew reference to the nearly 50% of Qatar’s female staff, ranging from pilots to engineers and cabin crew. You get the feeling he didn’t really believe what he was saying, speaking the words with considerable reluctance.
That’s hardly any surprise after he was booed when making the original comment and didn’t get much positive feedback from a less than heartfelt apology.
In many ways he drew even more attention to the fact that there is only one female CEO of an airline and she’s the only one on IATA’s 26 person committee – Christine Oumieres-Widener of U.K. regional Flybe.
That in turn demonstrates how few women there still are at the top of companies – you’re more likely to find one running a government than a major corporation.