EU transport chief set to leave his post over free Qatar flights, officials say

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BRUSSELS — A top European Union official is set to leave his role in charge of transport policy, following POLITICO’s revelations that he accepted free flights on Qatar Airways while his team negotiated a major aviation deal with the Gulf state, according to three officials.

Henrik Hololei, director general of the European Commission’s transport department, faces an internal investigation into the flights, and whether he was right to clear himself of any conflict of interest.

According to two Commission insiders and another person familiar with the matter, who asked to remain anonymous because of the sensitivity of the matter, Hololei will leave his job as director general of the transport department and will become a political adviser in the Commission’s department in charge of international partnerships. 

A spokesperson for the Commission declined to comment, citing policy not to discuss human resources issues.