GO-GETTER OF THE GULF

A look back at Qatar Air­ways

Business Traveller (India) - - CONTENTS -

Qatar Air­ways, the state’s na­tional air­line be­gan op­er­a­tions in 1994 as a small re­gional car­rier. Fol­low­ing His High­ness The Fa­ther Emir, Sheikh Ha­mad bin Khal­ifa Al Thani’s vi­sion to pro­mote it as a lead­ing in­ter­na­tional air­line, with em­pha­sis on “high­est stan­dards of ser­vice and ex­cel­lence”, it was re­launched in 1997 with a new face. At the time it had a fleet of four air­craft, and was al­ready fly­ing to In­dia (Mum­bai and Thiru­vanan­tha­pu­ram). In fact, Mum­bai was the first city to which Qatar Air­ways started its op­er­a­tions in In­dia, way back in 1994.

By the end of 2003, the air­line had a fleet of 28 air­craft, and 50 by Oc­to­ber 2006. In 2003 it was the first air­line in the in­dus­try to “pass the In­ter­na­tional Air Trans­port As­so­ci­a­tion (IATA) Op­er­a­tional Safety Au­dit with a max­i­mum 100 per cent com­pli­ance”. It was as­sessed on flight and ground op­er­a­tions, air­craft en­gi­neer­ing, main­te­nance, op­er­a­tional se­cu­rity, cabin op­er­a­tions and man­age­ment sys­tems. It still holds the cer­tifi­cate that is re­newed every two years.

Fast for­ward to April 2011: Qatar Air­ways flies to 100 des­ti­na­tions world­wide. On Oc­to­ber 30, 2013, it joined oneworld — the first and only Gulf air­line to date.

In 2014, it was the first air­line to fly its pas­sen­gers on the A350 air­craft. In the same year it launched the A380 on its Doha-London route.

In 2016, the car­rier was of­fi­cially, “the first air­line in the world to op­er­ate every fam­ily of Air­bus’ mod­ern air­liner port­fo­lio”.

To­day, Qatar Air­ways has a fleet of 192 air­craft — in­clud­ing six dou­ble decker A380-800 su­per jum­bos, the largest air­craft in the world — fly­ing to more than 150 des­ti­na­tions world­wide. Fur­ther, it has a pend­ing de­liv­ery of more than 350 new air­craft, to be re­ceived over the next few years.

Cur­rently, the air­line is on its way to be­com­ing the first to sub­mit minute-by-minute track­ing of its air­craft equipped with Au­to­matic De­pen­dent Sur­veil­lance-Broad­cast (ADS-B) in 2018.

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