25 Things You Didn’t Know About Qatar Airways
In today’s article, we’ll be talking about things you didn’t know about Qatar Airways. Qatar Airways is the state-owned flag carrier of Qatar. Headquartered in the Qatar Airways Tower in Doha, it links over 150 international destinations across Africa, Asia, Europe, the Americas, and Oceania from its base at Hamad International Airport, using a fleet of more than 200 aircraft. Qatar Airways Group employs more than 43,000 people. The carrier has been a member of the Oneworld alliance since October 2013, the first Gulf carrier to sign with one of the three airline alliances. All you need to know about Qatar Airways has been properly highlighted for you.
Having been established on November 22, 1993, Qatar Airways started its operations on January 20, 1994. In April 1995, the airline’s CEO was the Sheikh Hamad Bin Ali Bin Jabor Al Thani who employed a staff of 75. By this time the fleet consisted of two Airbus A310s that served a route network including Abu Dhabi, Bangkok, Cairo, Dubai, Khartoum, Kuwait, London, Madras, Manila, Muscat, Osaka, Sharjah, Taipei, Tokyo, and Trivandrum. On that same year, two ex-All Nippon Airways Boeing 747s were bought from Boeing. The airline acquired a second-hand Boeing 747SP from Air Mauritius in 1996. Now read further below to see everything you need to know about Qatar Airways.
All You Need to Know About Qatar Airways
There are so many key facts been detailed for you below in order for you to have the proper idea on things to know about Qatar Airways and what the company has been up to ever since:
- Qatar Airways was established on 22nd November 1993 and has its headquarter in Doha, Qatar.
- Qatar Airways’ CEO is Akbar Al Baker and has been serving in this position since November 1996.
- Qatar Airways offers first-class passengers at over 6.5 feet of legroom and seats that fold into flat beds with feather duvets. First-class seats are equipped with massage functions and an entertainment system. First-class, available only on A380s, features a 90-inch seat pitch, transforming into a fully flat bed, together with an expansive choice of entertainment options displayed on individual 26-inch television screens. It is configured as 1-2-1. All new Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft will be in a standard two-class configuration.
- Qatar Airways offers business class passengers fully flat horizontal beds with direct aisle access in a 1-2-1 configuration onboard its Airbus A380, Airbus A350, Boeing 777, and Boeing 787 aircraft. On other long and medium-haul aircraft, business class seats are in a 2-2-2 configuration offering flatbed seats with 180 degrees recline, with massage functions.
- Qatar Airways has introduced new business class seats onboard its newly delivered A320 aircraft with IFE seat-back PTVs in every seat. It will introduce the new seats in each upcoming new A320 aircraft, as well as retrofitting 4 existing A321 and 2 A319LR aircraft.
- Qatar Airways has had lots of sponsorship deals in some parts of the world, most especially in football teams; sponsored weather forecasts on Sky News since August 2005, FC Barcelona‘s primary shirt sponsor in July 2013 but ended in 2017, Official international Airline Sponsor for Sydney Swans in, official FIFA Partner and 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups official sponsor, Official Airline Partner for the FIA Formula E Championship, current A.S. Roma’s primary shirt sponsor, current Boca Juniors’ primary shirt sponsor, prestige partner and official airline sponsor for the 2018 Asian Games, the title sponsor of the Philippines Football League. the premium partner for Paris Saint-Germain F.C. for three seasons until 2022.
- Qatar Airways Cargo, the airline’s freight branch, is the world’s third-largest international cargo carrier. Dedicated cargo flights to Cairo International Airport were launched in June 2009 complementing the passenger services already operated.
- On October 12, 2009, a Qatar Airways Airbus A340-600 conducted the world’s first commercial passenger flight using a mixture of kerosene and synthetic gas-to-liquids (GTL) fuel, produced from natural gas, on its flight from London’s Gatwick Airport to Doha. The experiment’s purpose was to demonstrate the viability of jet fuel made from a source not subject to rapidly fluctuating oil prices. Also, positioning natural gas in particular as an alternative source of jet fuel is in the interests of the Qatari government; Qatar is the world’s leading exporter of natural gas. However, some experts believe that GTL fuel is likely to remain a marginal choice due to an expensive production process.
- Qatar Airways economy class was named best in the world in the 2009 and 2010 Skytrax Awards. Qatar Airways offers economy class passengers a seat pitch of up to 34 inches. Economy class passengers on A330 aircraft are offered individual seat-back TV screens. Passengers on Airbus A350, A380, Boeing 777, and 787 aircraft are offered touch-screen IFE monitors. Qatar Airways has taken delivery of several A320 family aircraft so far with individual seat-back personal televisions in every seat in economy class. The IFE is equipped with the same Thales entertainment system as used in the widebody fleet. A further four A321s and the two A319LRs will be equipped with the new IFE, as well as new upcoming A320 family aircraft deliveries.
- Qatar Airways also offers Onboard Connectivity Wi-Fi, which allows passengers to send SMS and MMS, access email, and browses the internet. This service is available on all A380, A350, B777, B787, A319, and selects A320, A321, and A330 aircraft.
- The airline’s first lounge outside Doha opened at London Heathrow’s Terminal 4 in January 2012.
- Global Supply Systems operated three Boeing 747-8F aircraft under a wet-lease arrangement for British Airways World Cargo until BA terminated the contract early on January 17, 2014. An agreement with Qatar Airways to operate flights for IAG Cargo using Boeing 777F was announced on the same day.
- As of May 2014, the company is fully owned by the Qatari government. Qatar Airways has been fully controlled by the government since July 2013, following the buyout of a 50% stake from a former foreign minister and other shareholders. Qatar Airways is as of February 2020 the largest shareholder in International Airlines Group (IAG) with 25.1% of the shares.
- After full operations commenced at its new hub, Doha in 2014, the Al Mourjan Business Lounge for Qatar Airways’ premium passengers opened in July 2014. Al Mourjan Business Lounge is about 10 times the size of an Olympic swimming pool and lounge access is for Qatar Airways and Oneworld first and business class passengers only.
- In 2015 Qatar Airways opened the Al Safwa First Lounge for its first-class passengers. The lounge received the prestigious Seven Star First Class Lounge Award at the Seven Stars Luxury Hospitality and Lifestyle Awards in Marbella, Spain on October 15.
- In the same 2015, they bought 9.99% of the International Air Group. Qatar has steadily increased its shareholding since then.
- Qatar Airways opened its new Premium Lounge at Dubai-International’s Concourse D in April 2016.
- In August 2015, Qatar Airways was forced to relax its policy of sacking cabin crew for getting pregnant or marrying in their first five years of employment. A spokeswoman stated, “Our policies have evolved with the airline’s growth”. Under the new regulations, “we will provide an opportunity for someone to continue working in a ground position”, the spokeswoman said.
- In 2016, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and United Airlines claimed that their forensic investigators had uncovered documents that allegedly indicated that Qatar Airways had received more than $7 billion in aid from the Qatari government. According to reports, the investigation was conducted by Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP. In July 2016, the U.S. Department of State held talks with Qatar government officials regarding the allegations of unfair competition. No formal action was taken by the Department of State. Qatar Airways has denied allegations that subsidies were received and Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker condemned the accusations.
- In January 2017, Qatar Airways opened its new premium lounge within Terminal 1 at Charles de Gaulle Airport.
- In March 2017, Qatar Airways revealed a new business class cabin, dubbed “Qsuite.” The new cabin offer suites with doors arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration. Qsuite features single seats on the window sides, and the middle section suites can be converted into a quad room, allowing four passengers to face each other in a dining-room like set up. Additionally, select “couple” seat pairs in the middle section can be converted into a double bed, offering a product similar to what other airlines offer in First Class. Launched on new Boeing 777-300ER and A350 XWB aircraft from summer 2017 and initially introduced on the Doha to London Heathrow route, the new seats will be retrofitted in the remaining fleet progressively, excluding the Airbus A330s and Airbus A380s due to their upcoming retirement of the types beginning in 2019 and 2024 as Qatar Airways introduced the Airbus A350, Boeing 787, and Boeing 777X to replace them.
- As of July 2018, the Qatar Airways Group employs more than 45,000 people; 32,000 of them work directly for the airline.
- In December 2019, Qatar Airways purchased a 60% stake in Rwanda’s new $1.3 billion international airports, Bugesera International Airport. The MoU signed between Qatar Airways and the Rwandan government read, “The partnership features three agreements to build, own, and operate the state-of-the-art facility.”
- In February 2020, Qatar Airways acquired a 49% stake in Rwanda’s flag carrier airline, RwandAir. The partnership is intended to be beneficial for both the airlines as it would provide technical and financial support to RwandAir for its development and hub strategy, while Qatar Airways would be able to bypass the embargo imposed by neighboring countries.
- The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) has “slammed” Qatar Airways for certain stipulations found in the standard hiring contracts for female cabin crew members, including the need to apply for permission before getting married. The ITF has lobbied the International Civil Aviation Organization to “take action” on what ITF termed “flagrant abuses of aviation workers’ labor rights” by carriers based in Qatar and the UAE.