Category Archives: Qatar Airways

Video: Richard Quest looks at the Qatar Airways-Airbus A350 dispute

Airbus and Qatar Airways are in court over a dispute about the best-selling A350 passenger jet.

23 Qatar A350s are still grounded due to paint issues.

A UK judge will rule on the dispute.

Qatar Airways and Airlink sign a comprehensive codeshare agreement

Qatar Airways and Airlink have signed a comprehensive codeshare agreement to offer travellers more choices, enhanced services and greater connectivity between 45 destinations in 13 countries across southern Africa and the rest of the world.

This new codeshare agreement means travellers can enjoy the simplicity of purchasing connecting flights on both airlines using a single reservation with seamless ticketing, check-in, boarding and baggage-check experience, during the entire journey.

The partnership will enable customers to book attractive offers from southern Africa to popular destinations in the U.S. such as New York and Dallas, cities in Europe such as London, Copenhagen and Barcelona, and points across Asia like Manila, Jakarta and Cebu. The agreement also increases Qatar Airways’ footprint in southern Africa, with improved access to destinations such as Ggeberha (Port Elizabeth) Hoedspruit, Skukuza, George in South Africa and beyond to Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

Qatar Airways was the only airline to launch new services in southern Africa after the pandemic, starting operations to Luanda, Harare and Lusaka last year. It resumes operations to Windhoek this month, providing another connection to Airlink’s extensive regional network via eight gateways in the region.

The new codeshare flights are available for sales and will commence travel on July 6, 2022 subject to government approval.

Qatar Airways offers 21 direct weekly flights from Doha to Johannesburg, 10 weekly flights to Cape Town and four weekly flights to Durban. From South Africa, travellers can connect easily to destinations across six continents via the World’s Best Airport, Hamad International Airport.

Airlink’s history:

AIRLINK TIMELINE


1992

Business partners Rodger Foster and Barrie Webb successfully bid for liquidated Link Airways. The new airline is named Airlink.

Airlink 1992

1995

“SA Airlink” is officially launched on 25 March at a gathering of important guests, including Queen Elizabeth II. SA Airlink brand aligns with that of SAA and SA Airlink joins the Voyager frequent flier loyalty programme.

1997

SA Airlink joins SAA and SA Express in a strategic alliance that leads to the establishment of the leading aviation network in Africa. SA Airlink and SA Express adopt the “South African” franchise brand.

1999

Swaziland Airlink is formed as a joint venture company between Airlink and the Swaziland (now Eswatini) government.

2000

On 3 April, SA Airlink officially opens the Kruger Park Gateway Airport in Phalaborwa. On 30 August, the franchise agreement between SAA and SA Airlink is signed as a bilateral relationship.

2005

SA Airlink commences air services to Antananarivo in Madagascar.

2006

SA Airlink changes its corporate identity, adopting the brand “Airlink” emphasising the airline’s corporate positioning statement, ‘Freedom of the African Sky’ and displaying the distinctive South African national colours of blue, red, green and gold, along with the brightly coloured sunbird emblem. Airlink’s badging, while distinctly different from the franchise brand, demonstrates clear alignment with SAA’s “South African” brand.

Airlink

2008

SA Airlink, having successfully completed the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA), is placed on the IATA Register on 6 February, assuring customers of the highest possible standard of service.

2009

In October, SA Airlink moves into its new head office in Greenstone Hill Office Park, Modderfontein.

2011

In December, the Airports Company SA (ACSA) presents four Feather Awards to SA Airlink in recognition of consistent service excellence at ACSA airports.

2012

In June, SA Airlink sells a 32.51% stake of the company in a landmark broad-based black economic empowerment transaction. In December, ACSA presents six Feather Awards to SA Airlink in recognition of consistent service excellence at ACSA airports.

2013

In March, SA Airlink commences direct services between Johannesburg and Kasane and between Johannesburg and Vilanculos, bringing the total number of destinations in the SA Airlink network to 31. On 11 June, Airlink celebrates 21 years in the aviation industry. At this point, SA Airlink has a turnover of more than two billion rand, employs about 1,000 staff, and carries one million-plus customers annually.

2014

SA Airlink launches the return of scheduled air services between Cape Town and Johannesburg to Skukuza Airport, allowing direct access to globally renowned wildlife destinations in the Kruger Park and nearby Sabi Sands Private Game Reserve.

Airlink Skukuza airport

2015

SA Airlink becomes the first domestic airline to offer scheduled flights between Cape Town and the then recently refurbished Wonderboom Airport in Pretoria.

2016

SA Airlink signs an agreement with the government of Madagascar to operate domestic air services within Madagascar and regional air services between Madagascar and key states within Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands. SA Airlink, in partnership with Embraer, opens the Airlink Training Centre in Bonaero Park.

Airlink training centre

2017

SA Airlink celebrates its 25th anniversary under the same leadership, and the 50th anniversary of one of its root airlines, Lowveld Air Services, which started in 1967. In June, SA Airlink is chosen by the St Helena Government as its preferred bidder to provide a scheduled airline service to the island.
In August, the first of the airline’s new Embraer E-190 E-Jets begin operating on routes to Pietermaritzburg and Bulawayo. In December, ACSA presents Feather Awards to SA Airlink in recognition of Best Performing Regional Airline and Best Performing Domestic Airline.

2018

SA Airlink and FlySafair conclude negotiations for a merger/acquisition by SA Airlink of FlySafair. The application for authorisation to proceed is turned down by the Competitions Commission on the grounds that the Competitions Commission believes that SA Airlink and FlySafair are competitors.
The matter is referred to the Tribunal, but before arguments are presented the application is withdrawn as the objectives of the shareholders of SA Airlink and FlySafair had diverged.
In December, the Airports Company SA (ACSA) presents a Feather Award to SA Airlink in recognition of Best Performing Regional Airline.

2019

SA Airlink establishes its high-tech training centre of excellence in conjunction with Embraer, housing both an Embraer E190 and an Embraer ERJ145 simulator. These simulators operate up to five training slots per day and greatly assist in the cognitive, associative and autonomous stages of pilot training.

Airlink training centre

2020 – FIRST QUARTER

SA Airlink terminates its 23-year franchise agreement with South African Airways (SAA) after SAA enters business rescue, defaults on its agreements with SA Airlink, and stops operating.

SA Airlink resumes operations during COVID-19 lockdown level 3, operating on its own 4Z flight code, and terminates its 23-year franchise agreement with South African Airways (SAA) after SAA enters business rescue, defaults on its agreements with SA Airlink, and stops operating. SA Airlink re-defines its business model as an independent comprehensive airline network incorporating all keys destinations within South Africa and Southern Africa.

2020 – SECOND QUARTER ONWARDS

SA Airlink resumes operations during COVID-19 lockdown level 3, operating on its own 4Z flight code. SA Airlink re-defines its business model as an independent comprehensive airline network incorporating all keys destinations within South Africa and Southern Africa.

SA Airlink establishes itself as the most comprehensive airline network system in Southern Africa, offering more connections to key cities within Africa and the world by way of interconnectivity within its own network and with the networks of its partner airlines. SA Airlink introduces flights to new destinations, including Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Durban, East London, George, Dar es Salaam, Windhoek, Lubumbashi, Luanda and Maputo.

Qatar Airways and Emirates sign interline agreements with Airlink that will provide passengers with seamless connectivity via Cape Town and Johannesburg to more than 45 destinations within Southern Africa.

In September SA Airlink (Pty) Ltd changes its corporate name to Airlink (Pty) Ltd to align the company with its trade name and brand “Airlink” that had been in use since 2005.

On 12 November, Airlink unveils its new livery and its new tail insignia, clearly proclaiming its status as an independent airline.

Airlink route map:

Airlink aircraft photo gallery:

Qatar Airways aircraft photo gallery:

Qatar Airways Group announces a record profit in its 25 Year history of US $1.54 billion for the FY 2021-2022

Qatar Airways Group celebrates its milestone 25th Anniversary year of operation with its strongest financial performance reflected in its published annual report for 2021/22, 200 per cent above its highest annual historical profit.  In the most difficult period ever in the global airline industry, the airline credits its positive results to its agility and successful strategy which continued to focus on customer needs and evolving market opportunities, as well as efficiency and the commitment of its worldwide employees. This profit is not only a record for Qatar Airways Group, but also a record among all other airlines that have published financial results for this financial year worldwide.

Qatar Airways Group reported a record net profit of QAR 5.6 billion (US $1.54 billion) during the fiscal year 2021/22. Overall revenue increased to QAR 52.3 billion (US$ 14.4 billion), up 78 per cent compared to last year and a remarkable two per cent higher than the full financial year pre-COVID (i.e., 2019/20). Passenger revenue increased by 210 per cent over the last year, due to the growth of the Qatar Airways network, increase in market share and higher unit revenue, for the second financial year in a row. Qatar Airways carried 18.5 million passengers, an increase of 218 per cent over last year.

Qatar Airways Cargo remained the leading player in the world as its revenue experienced an impressive growth of 25 per cent over last year with the growth in cargo capacity (Available Tonne Kilometres) of 25 per cent annually.

The Group generated strong EBITDA Margin of 34 percent at QAR 17.7 billion (US$ 4.9 billion). EBITDA was higher than the previous year by QAR 11.8 billion (US$ 3.2 billion) due to streamlined, agile and fit-for-purpose operations across all business areas. These record earnings are the result of decisions made during the pandemic to expand the Qatar Airways’ passenger and cargo networks, with a more accurate forecast of the global market recovery, building further customer and trade loyalty and product excellence combined with strong cost control.

Despite the challenges of COVID-19, the national carrier of the State of Qatar grew to more than 140 destinations in 2021/22, opening new routes including Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire; Lusaka, Zambia; Harare, Zimbabwe; Almaty, Kazakhstan and Kano and Port Harcourt, Nigeria in addition to resuming flights to key markets across Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. The company has operated continuously the largest network among all Middle Eastern airlines, as measured by number or destinations as well as weekly flights.

Minister of state for Energy and Qatar Airways Group Chairman, His Excellency Mr. Saad Bin Sharida Al-Kaabi, said: “Qatar Airways Group has demonstrated a robust role in the aviation industry, and these financial results are a clear indication of the Group’s strong performance. Against challenges during the previous period, I am delighted by the achievements that have been accomplished this year and by the way the Group has swiftly responded to these challenges.”

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker (above), said: “This year Qatar Airways Group celebrates a quarter of a century of history since its relaunch, whilst maintaining strong performance and growing profitability. Our commitment to providing the greatest choices to our passengers, maintaining the highest levels of safety in the industry and earning trust have made us proudly become the airline of choice for millions of travellers around the world. We have pursued every business opportunity and left no stone unturned as we aimed to meet our targets.”

“In 2021, we grew significantly to become the world’s largest global long-haul carrier in 2021 by RPKs. We also received the industry’s most prestigious accolade ‘Airline of the Year’ for a record-breaking sixth time in the Skytrax World Airline Awards in addition to recognition for the airline’s hub, Hamad International Airport as ‘Best Airport in the World’ 2021. The Qatar Airways Cargo division also earned three major industry awards including Cargo Operator of the Year at the ATW Airline Awards; Cargo Airline of the Year, and Air Cargo Industry Achievement Award at Air Cargo Week’s World Air Cargo Awards. These achievements not only highlight our exceptional brand reputation but also our outstanding hard work across the Qatar Airways Group family.”

“I am extremely proud of the decisions we have made to embrace efficiency and achieve strong cost control across several operational departments whilst engaging in environmental and sustainable initiatives. This has positioned us at the forefront in the field of sustainability, including environmental protection and social commitment. Our strategic investments in a varied fleet of modern, fuel-efficient aircraft has helped us overcome the significant challenges related to capacity constraints while balancing commercial needs as swiftly as possible.”

Throughout this year, the Qatar Airways Group maintained a highly-successful and wealthy portfolio of regional and global partnerships to champion the brand across the world including global sporting clubs – Al Sadd SC, Boca Juniors, Brooklyn Nets, FC Bayern München, and Paris Saint-Germain, the partnership with the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) and FIFA. The group also continued to showcase its unwavering commitment to giving back and supporting communities and charitable initiatives throughout 2021/22. Alongside this, Qatar Airways Group is constantly setting new milestones on environmental sustainability for the aviation industry, and recently released its Sustainability Report 2021 to highlight key initiatives and the Group’s commitment towards the environment and sustainability.

Against the backdrop of the pandemic disruption, Qatar Airways Cargo transported more than 3 million tonnes of air freight and securing eight per cent share in the global market. Cargo also transported more than 600 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines over the course of the pandemic to date and also concentrated its efforts in enhancing its renowned Pharma product and industry presence, while also ensuring commitment to its ground-breaking WeQare initiative, which consists of a series of positive and impactful actions in the form of chapters based on the core pillars of sustainability – environment, society, economy and culture.

As the world continues its recovery from the devastating impact of COVID-19, Qatar Airways remains committed to keeping passengers and cargo moving across the globe, maintaining and building on the exceptional standards of our first 25 years of operation, that has earnt us the accolade of being the Best Airline in the World.

Please find below the Qatar Airways Group Consolidated Financial Statement:

Qatar Airways Group Consolidated Financial Statement 2021/22

Please find below the Qatar Airways Group Annual Report:

Qatar Airways Group Annual Report Fiscal 2021/22

Qatar Airways aircraft photo gallery:

American Airlines and Qatar Airways expand strategic alliance

American Airlines and Qatar Airways are expanding their strategic alliance with a new codeshare agreement, enabling American’s customers to book travel on Qatar Airways flights via Doha to and from 16 new countries.

Pending any necessary government codeshare approvals, travelers will be able to book travel beyond Qatar to their final destinations in Ethiopia, Indonesia, Jordan, Kenya, Malaysia, Maldives, Oman, Pakistan, Seychelles, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Thailand, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. This expanded codeshare comes as American launches new service on June 4 from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to Doha’s Hamad International Airport (DOH), recently voted World’s Best Airport. The new service establishes American as the only U.S. carrier to serve the Gulf region, seamlessly connecting through Doha with Qatar Airways.

The strategic alliance includes Qatar Airways, the leading carrier in the Middle East in terms of frequencies and destinations and the six-time Skytrax ‘World’s Best Airline’ award winner, placing its code on thousands of American’s domestic flights — strengthening connectivity and creating new travel options for customers. American’s network enables connections to over 250 North American cities and Qatar Airways’ extensive network of more than 85 relevant destinations allows customers to access the Middle East, East Africa, South Asia and Southeast Asia gateways. The airlines, both alliance members, are paving the way for more interconnected travel within the alliance and globally.

American Airlines aircraft photo gallery (Boeing):

Qatar Airways aircraft photo gallery:

Qatar Airways statement on Airbus A350 aircraft

Qatar Airways is pleased with the judgement given by the High Court.

We entered into this process to secure an expedited trial and early disclosure from Airbus that will give us an insight into the true nature of surface degradation affecting the A350s.

We are extremely pleased to have secured these in the judgement.

We will finally be able assess the cause of the damage to our aircraft and the expedited trial will provide a swift resolution of this unprecedented dispute.

Qatar Airways remains committed to its collective mission to achieve “Excellence in everything that we do,” at all levels across our airline. Our commitment to the safety and security of our passengers and crew, remains at the core of everything we do.

Qatar Airways partners with flydubai, Kuwait Airways, Oman Air, and Saudia to bring Football Fans Match Day shuttle flights for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™

Qatar Airways has made this announcement:

As part of the commitment to make the first ever FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ hosted in the Middle East and Arab world an all-inclusive gala event, Qatar Airways has tied up with flydubai, Kuwait Airways, Oman Air and Saudia to connect match ticket holders to Doha via Match Day Shuttle flights for 24-hour experiences, during the tournament period.

Football fans based in Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia or UAE, will soon be able to book their Match Day Shuttle flights. This service is designed with the purpose of connecting fans seamlessly to Qatar so they can attend their respective matches, capture the sights and sounds of the host country, before departing Doha on the same day. Match Day Shuttle tickets will kick-off at extremely competitive prices along with rotating frequencies from Dubai, Jeddah, Kuwait City, Muscat and Riyadh.

Fans are invited to visit qatarairways.com/MatchDayShuttle and the partner airlines’ websites to learn more and secure their flights. Qatar Airways will also be adding more Match Day Shuttle flights across the GCC in the future, as well as flying in football fans from around the world on its extensive global network.

Passengers who book one of the Match Day Shuttle services will benefit from a smooth journey which includes dedicated on-ground transportation between the airport and stadium.

By choosing to book a Match Day Shuttle flight, fans will arrive in the morning and depart in the evening, with no hotel accommodation required. Additionally, a no check-in baggage policy will simplify an easy-in, easy-out travel itinerary for the passengers.

The Match Day Shuttle service along with its many perks, will make travelling to Doha a seamless experience. The flight frequency rotations will be as follows*:

Carrier City Total flights per day Rotations
flydubai Dubai 60 30
Kuwait Airways Kuwait City 20 10
Oman Air Muscat 48 24
Saudia Riyadh and Jeddah 40 20

The new partnership between the GCC national carriers was sealed with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) earlier today during a press conference, which was held in Doha, Qatar. H.E. Mr. Akbar Al Baker, Eng. Yasir Al Jamal, Mr. Ghaith Al Ghaith, Eng. Maen Mahmoud Razouqi, Mr. Abdulaziz Al Raisi, and Captain Ibrahim S. Koshy were the main attendees at the event.

The tournament will be held across eight world-class stadiums which are designed to inspire the various symbols of Qatari and Arab culture. Al Bayt Stadium will host the opening game with a capacity of 60,000 seats, while Lusail Stadium is set to host the final match of the tournament, with a capacity of 80,000 seats. The remaining stadiums will house 40,000 spectators. These include: Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium, Al Janoub Stadium, Khalifa International Stadium, Education City Stadium, Stadium 974 and Al Thumama Stadium.

As FIFA’s Official Airline Partner since 2017, Qatar Airways has sponsored mega events including the 2019 and 2020 editions of the FIFA Club World Cup™, and the FIFA Arab Cup™, all of which were hosted in Qatar.

In its goal to bring communities together through sport, the World’s Best Airline has an extensive global sports partnership portfolio that includes football-governing bodies such as FIFA, CONCACAF and CONMEBOL. The airline also sponsors some of the world’s biggest football clubs including Al Sadd SC, Boca Juniors, FC Bayern München and Paris Saint-Germain.

The national carrier of the State of Qatar continues to rebuild its network, which currently stands at over 140 destinations. With more frequencies being added to key hubs, Qatar Airways offers unrivalled connectivity to passengers, making it easy for them to connect to a destination of their choice. The airline’s hub, Hamad International Airport (HIA), was also recently recognised as the ‘Best Airport in the World 2021’, ranking at number one in the Skytrax World Airport Awards 2021.

*All Match Day Shuttle flights are subject to government approvals.

Qatar Airways aircraft photo gallery:

Qatar Airways and Malaysia Airlines unveil an enhanced strategic partnership

Qatar Airways and Malaysia Airlines unveil the roadmap outlining the next phase of their strategic partnership, following Malaysia Airlines’ announcement to launch a nonstop service from Kuala Lumpur to Doha from May 25, 2022.

The two partners will significantly expand their codeshare cooperation, allowing passengers to travel the world and enjoy seamless connectivity via their leading hubs in Kuala Lumpur and Doha.

The codeshare expansion, which adds 34 destinations to the existing 62 codeshare destinations, marks another milestone in the long-standing relationship between the two countries’ national carriers and oneworld partners. The agreement benefits travellers from across the globe who will have access to a much greater combined network and enjoy a seamless travel experience on both airlines with a single ticket including check-in, boarding and baggage-check processes, frequent flyer benefits and world-class lounge access for the entire journey.

Starting on May 25, 2022, customers flying on Malaysia Airlines’ new Kuala Lumpur to Doha service will have access to 62 codeshare destinations within Qatar Airways’ broad network to the Middle East, Africa, Europe and North America.  Likewise, Qatar Airways customers travelling from Doha to Kuala Lumpur can seamlessly transfer to 34 Malaysia Airlines’ destinations including their entire domestic network and key markets in Asia, such as Singapore, Seoul, Hong Kong, and Ho Chi Minh City, subject to governmental approval.

In linking both route networks, the partners are striving to develop Kuala Lumpur as a leading aviation hub in the Southeast Asia Region connecting Malaysia, Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand with the Middle East, Europe, the Americas, and Africa. Furthermore, Qatar Airways and Malaysia Airlines will leverage synergies across multiple business areas and develop innovative products to benefit their customers worldwide.

The enhanced cooperation will also include reciprocal loyalty benefits allowing Qatar Airways Privilege Club members to earn and redeem Avios points when flying on Malaysia Airlines, with similar benefits for Malaysia Airlines Enrich members when travelling on Qatar Airways’ services.  Privilege Club and Enrich members will also enjoy a wide range of other unique benefits, depending on tier status, such as complimentary lounge access, complimentary extra baggage allowance, priority check-in, priority boarding and priority baggage delivery on Malaysia Airlines and Qatar Airways.

Malaysia Airlines and Qatar Airways’ strategic partnership evolved progressively beginning 2001 and have significantly expanded the collaborative partnership with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding in February 2022 to leverage each other’s network strengths and provide robust access for passengers to travel to new destinations beyond their individual network, and ultimately lead Asia Pacific Travel.

Qatar Airways and Virgin Australia unveil a new strategic partnership

 

Qatar Airways and Virgin Australia have unveiled a new strategic partnership that will significantly expand both airlines’ networks, lounges and loyalty programmes.

Commencing mid-year, the partnership will give travellers greater access, unparalleled customer experience and unique benefits when travelling between Australia and Qatar Airways’ global network, with convenient transit options across Qatar Airways’ Australian gateways and key Virgin Australia hubs, including Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. The strategic alliance will provide a critical trade and tourism boost for Australia, while opening a world of new travel opportunities for both airline’s customers.

The partnership agreement was announced at the start of the Arabian Travel Market in Dubai, where Qatar Airways has a significant presence.

Qatar Airways currently operates daily flights into Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, and Perth as well as three weekly flights into Adelaide continuing into Auckland, New Zealand. Thanks to the new codeshare agreement, Qatar Airways’ passengers will be able to travel seamlessly to 35 destinations on Virgin Australia’s extensive domestic network, including key popular Australian tourist destinations, including Cairns, Gold Coast, Alice Springs and Broome, on a single booking. Qatar Airways’ passengers will also have access to Virgin Australia’s recently relaunched short-haul international markets, including Fiji and Queenstown, New Zealand.  Similarly, Virgin Australia customers and members of the airline’s award-winning Velocity Frequent Flyer loyalty program, will be able to directly access Qatar Airways’ route network of over 140 worldwide destinations, including the Middle East, Europe and Africa, via the airline’s hub and Skytrax-rated ‘World’s Best Airport’, Hamad International in Doha.

For Virgin Australia guests, access to Qatar Airways’ extensive network provides one-stop connectivity to a wide range of destinations and the ability to book Qatar Airways flights through the Virgin Australia website. Qatar Airways serves 54 cities in Europe with over 600 flights per week, offering a huge range of new choices for Virgin Australia customers. Likewise, Qatar Airways passengers can book flights through into the Virgin Australia network through http://www.qatarairways.com.

The strategic partnership will also include reciprocal loyalty benefits allowing Qatar Airways Privilege Club members to earn and redeem Avios when flying on Virgin Australia, with similar benefits for Velocity members when travelling on Qatar Airways’ services. Privilege Club and Velocity members will also enjoy a wide range of other unique benefits, depending on status tier, such as complimentary lounge access, complimentary extra baggage allowance, priority check-in, priority boarding and priority baggage delivery when flying respectively on Virgin Australia and Qatar Airways. Qatar Airways Privilege Club recently enhanced its programme through its partnership with Avios, significantly expanding accrual and redemption opportunities for its members.

The partnership with Virgin Australia builds on Qatar Airways’ long-term commitment to connecting Australia to the world. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Qatar Airways was the only airline consistently operating international services to Australia, providing critical links for Australians to return home.

Qatar Airways steps into the Metaverse with ‘QVerse’ virtual reality and world’s first MetaHuman Cabin Crew

Qatar Airways today entered the metaverse by launching QVerse, a novel virtual reality (VR) experience for visitors to the airline’s website.

Users of the www.qatarairways.com/QVerse website can now virtually tour and navigate the Premium Check-in area at Hamad International Airport (HIA), the cabin interior of the airline’s aircraft, including the award-winning Business Class – Qsuite, and the Economy Class cabin, by using their own Personal Electronic Devices (PEDs). The national carrier of the State of Qatar is also the first global airline to introduce a MetaHuman cabin crew offering a digital interactive customer experience.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “With physical boundaries beginning to be challenged by the metaverse on an increasingly larger scale, it is exciting to embrace a technology that enables all travel enthusiasts to enjoy a unique immersive experience of our award-winning products and services.”

He added: “Our status as the first airline to introduce a MetaHuman cabin crew is testament to our unwavering desire to innovate and delight our customers. We are constantly looking forward to adopting and introducing novel technologies that enhance our passengers’ complete journey.”

The experience was developed using Epic Games’ Unreal Engine, the world’s most advanced real-time 3D creation tool, and MetaHuman Creator, a cloud-based app for creating high-fidelity digital humans. Qatar Airways is the first global airline to introduce a MetaHuman cabin crew, featuring a digitally-created high-fidelity 3D human model named ‘Sama’ – whose name is of Arabic origin and translates to ‘sky’. ‘Sama’ offers an interactive customer experience through engagement with the user, taking them on a virtual journey of discovery, while presenting the unique features in both the Business and Economy Class cabins through a narrated script.

A multiple award-winning airline, Qatar Airways was announced as the ‘Airline of the Year’ by the international air transport rating organization, Skytrax, in addition to securing five additional awards, including World’s Best Business Class, World’s Best Business Class Airline Lounge, World’s Best Business Class Airline Seat, World’s Best Business Class Onboard Catering and Best Airline in the Middle East. The airline continues to stand alone at the top of the industry having won the main prize for an unprecedented sixth time (2011, 2012, 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2021). The airline’s hub, Hamad International Airport (HIA), was also recently recognized as the ‘Best Airport in the World 2021’, ranking at number one in the Skytrax World Airport Awards 2021.

Qatar Airways and IndiGo reactivate strategic cooperation

Qatar Airways and IndiGo, India’s largest airline, announce the reactivation of their strategic cooperation following the lifting of the suspension on international scheduled flights by the Indian government.

Qatar Airways is currently operating 190 flights per week to and from 12 destinations in India, namely Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kochi, Kozhikode, Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Goa, Kolkata, and Thiruvananthapuram. IndiGo is currently operating 154 flights per week between Doha and eight cities in India and that includes Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kochi, Kozhikode and Kannur. As part of this expanded code-share agreement, Qatar Airways will be placing its marketing code on IndiGo operated flights between Doha and Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, starting from 25 April 2022, and Chennai, Bengaluru, Kochi, Kozhikode, starting from 09 May 2022.

Both Qatar Airways and IndiGo flights are optimally connected to Qatar Airways’ hub, the award-winning Hamad International Airport in Doha. This allows passengers to benefit from seamless and convenient connections to the airline’s entire route network, including North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia/Australia.

In addition to faster and more convenient connections to and from India, members of Qatar Airways’ loyalty program Privilege Club will benefit from the strategic cooperation as members will soon be able to earn Avios on all code-share flights operated by IndiGo. Likewise, Qatar Airways’ generous baggage rules, which are especially important for international travelers apply on all code-share flights.