A Qatar Airways executive has emailed the firm’s entire cabin crew a picture of a drunk air stewardess because he was “ashamed and disturbed”.
She appeared to be incapacitated on the floor outside staff accommodation in Doha after a night with friends and it was unclear who took the photograph.
Rossen Dimitrov, the airline’s “senior vice president of customer experience”, sent his email, revealed to the Daily Star, on Sunday.
He wrote: "Attached, please see a photo of a CSD who had returned heavily intoxicated to her accommodation.
"She was dropped off at the entrance of her building and left there sleeping until other crew members found her and carried her up to her apartment.
"I am so ashamed and disturbed by this behaviour displayed by a tenured member of our team, an adult who has been with the company for over nine years.
"How can we change rules when we do not behave as mature individuals. I am very disappointed."
Mr Dimitrov’s email came less than a week after he underwent “emotional intelligence training” with other Qatar Airways staff.
“We also recognise the importance of emotions and want to create an organisation that is emotionally intelligent because that brings about numerous positive changes, including training effectiveness and customer service excellence, as well as an improvement in employee performance,” he said in a company press release.
“Our staff are one of our most valuable assets.”
The national carrier of the State of Qatar has seen rapid growth in its 18 years of operation, flying 150 aircraft to 146 destinations across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, the Pacific and America.
Qatar Airways told MailOnline the email was sent to remind staff to respect the “norms and values” of Qatar, where the consumption of alcohol is severely restricted under Islamic laws.
“In Doha, the consumption of alcohol is not permitted for nationals and, although drinking is permitted for foreigners, being seen to be drunk would be considered highly disrespectful – it would have negative implications for both the individual and those associated with them,” a spokesperson said.
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“The vast majority of our cabin crew would themselves be disappointed at the idea that one of their colleagues should get into this situation, since they share our pride in the reputation of our team, and they would also, as we are, be very concerned about the safety implications for someone in this position.”
The airline said the rule change Mr Dimitrov referred to started more than a year ago and had been “universally welcomed” by staff, although it did not specify what conditions were being altered.
It is an offence to drink alcohol or be drunk in public in Qatar, according to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
Alcohol is available at licensed hotel restaurants and bars, and foreigners living there can obtain alcohol on a complicated permit system that evaluates an applicant’s employment, salary, marital status and religion.
It is illegal to import alcohol, sell it or offer it to Muslims or minors in Qatar, where homosexuality is also banned.