Flights with Qatar Airways:
An overview of Qatar Airways
Qatar Airways is the national airline of Qatar and operates out of Doha. It offers more than 81 destinations across the globe and is well known for its exceptional customer service and performance. Qatar Airways has in fact been ranked five stars for these attributes, and is one of the elite of six, high quality airlines in the world on whom this special status have been conferred.
The cabin crew members working for Qatar Airways have been voted as the ‘Best in the Middle East’ from 2002 until 2006 by Skytrax, an independent monitoring agency for the aviation industry. During the year 2007 Qatar Airways received the ‘Best Middle Eastern Airline’ award for the second consecutive year and for the fourth best quality airline in the world. This is no mean feat by any definition.
Qatar Airways is a very new airline. It was established on the 22nd of November 1993 and used a Boeing 737-200 for their inaugural flight on the 20th of January 1994. Subsequently Qatar Airways acquired two Boeing 727s as well as 747 SRs. Initially the airline’s performance was little more than sluggish. This state of affairs forced the business to replace its management team in 1997. This change gave the beleaguered airline a whole new life. Under its new policy makers, a fresh marketing approach was adopted. All the old aeroplanes were sold off and replaced with modern, new Airbus aeroplanes.
Rapid expansion and growth followed. New destinations like Europe, Asia and Africa were added to Qatar Airways’ global expansion plans. During 2002 a further new addition was made to the fleet: the state of the art Airbus A330. At the same Qatar Airways also became the launch pad for A340-600 HGW.
There are plans to order 5 new airbuses A380 at the beginning of 2011. Before then, a host (115 in total) of 777s, A350XWBs, 777 Freighters and 787 Dreamliners are set to Qatar Airways Fleet.
Qatar Airways has a loyalty program known by the name of Privilege Club. This is a reciprocal arrangement with a number of different airlines’ rewards programmes, such as All Nippon Airways’ Mileage Club, Middle East Airlines’ Cedar Miles, Lufthansa Miles, US Airways Dividend Miles and United Airlines Mileage Plus. The loyalty program also formed partnerships with car rental companies and hotels.
Qatar Airways has a dedicated terminal for all its business and first class passengers. This terminal is called Premium Terminal and was opened up during 2006 winter at the Doha airport. There are many high end services offered in the Premium Terminal such as a nursery, duty free shopping, play areas, conference rooms, check-in facilities, Jacuzzis, sauna rooms and restaurants.
Of note is that Qatar Airways has an exemplary safety record. In their more than 10 years of operation, the airline has not had a single fatal accident.
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Globe Trotting with Qatar Airways :
Unlike the overwhelming majority of airlines, Qatar Airways is not part of any global alliance programme. They do however have an array of code share agreements in place with the majority of the existing Star Alliance Members to augment their already impressive offering.
Currently Qatar Airways owns more than 62 airbuses and several Boeing aircraft that fly across 82 destinations of the globe. These destinations include Middle East, Europe, India, Far East, Africa and North America. Lagos was announced as Qatar Airways’ second launch route, effective 1 March 2007.
Two months earlier, during January 2007, Qatar Airways started providing direct flight services to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. Its Airbus A330 operates three weekly flights from Doha to Lagos. Passengers flying out of Lagos or Dar es Salaam can expect to fly to many global destinations such as Chennai, Bali, eastern and northern Europe as well as Ahmedabad in India and Ho Chi Minh cities. Nairobi was one of the first places in Africa where Qatar Airways started its operations and flight routes.
Qatar Airways also offers a number of dedicated, direct flights to and from South Africa. These flights have both economy and business classes so passengers flying from South Africa can choose according to budget and convenience.