Qatar Airways made a huge change
When the illegal siege of Qatar hit exactly a year ago, one of the first companies that were affected was Qatar Airways.
In the matter of a few short hours, several significant air corridors they use were shut down by neighbouring countries and they had to find out alternate, longer routes.
Yes, the illegal siege has affected their balance sheet and they may require a little assistance from the government some months down the line. However, that has not stopped them from dreaming big.
During the last one year, Qatar Airways also opened up 16 new air routes — Luxembourg City (Luxembourg), Lisbon (Portugal), Tallinn (Estonia), Valletta (Malta), Langkawi (Malaysia), Da Nang (Vietnam), Malaga (Spain), Gatwick, Cardiff (both UK), Cebu, Davao (both The Philippines), Mykonos, Thessaloniki (both Greece), Bodrum, Antalya and Hatay (all Turkey).
Just two weeks into the blockade, Qatar Airways got a huge boost when they were chosen as the ‘Airline of the Year’ by the prestigious 2017 Skytrax World Airline Awards, held at the Paris Air Show.
It was their fourth win, after 2011, 2012 and 2015. They were also chosen as the ‘Best Airline in the Middle East’, ‘World’s Best Business Class’ and ‘World’s Best First Class Airline’ lounge.
The Doha-based airline introduced a brand new innovation when they unveiled the world’s first double beds on its flights from London to Doha in business class.
They also made their intentions clear to enter into luxury hotel business, announcing grand plans to purchase 50 hotel properties around the world by 2022. They put a start to this plan when its hospitality division — Dhiafatina Hotels — acquired the Sheraton Melbourne Hotel.
Qatar Airways have plans to add at least 30 new planes to its existing fleet this year, according to its CEO Akbar Al baker.
This will be in addition to the domestic airlines it plans to launch in India soon, which will boast of another 100 aircrafts.
Qatar Airways also upped their game of buying stakes in international airports, with solid plans in place to acquire a 25% share in Russia’s Vnukovo International Airport.
They have also been focusing on improving passenger experience, making high-speed ‘Super Wi-Fi’ onboard its B777, A350 aircrafts.
All these developments point to the fact that Qatar Airways is keen to grow even further, with or without the siege. And the growth of Qatar Airways only means the growth of Qatar as a whole.