In anticipation of a successful 2019, Qatar Airways celebrated a successful year of robust network expansion, new aircraft deliveries and groundbreaking global sports sponsorship agreements.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “Our achievements in 2018 prove that Qatar Airways has not wavered from its strategy and vision of constant growth and development, in order to provide our passengers the finest onboard experience every time they travel. We have demonstrated that we will not rest in our determination to push the boundaries in redefining the travel experience for each and every one of our customers.
A350-1000: In February, the airline took delivery of the world’s first Airbus A350-1000 as the global launch customer of the world’s most technologically advanced aircraft. The new A350-1000 went into full commercial service on the airline’s Doha-London route, on which the A350-900, the A380, Boeing 777 and 787 Dreamliner already operate, offering six flights a day between Qatar and the United Kingdom’s capital to Heathrow Airport and 16 weekly flights to London Gatwick. It is the first Airbus aircraft to be fitted with Qatar Airways’ revolutionary Qsuite Business Class seat. In October, the aircraft was added to the airline’s New York route.
In the same month, the airline announced that it had upgraded five of its current order of A350-900s to the higher-capacity A350-1000. The airline has already taken delivery of 35 A350 aircraft (29 A350-900 and six A350-1000) from the total order of 76 A350 XWBs.
Route Expansion: One of the world’s fastest-growing airlines, Qatar Airways launched a host of exciting new destinations in 2018, including: Cardiff, United Kingdom; Canberra, Australia; Mombasa; Kenya; Gothenburg, Sweden; Da Nang, Vietnam; and Thessaloniki, Greece. The airline also launched seasonal services to Mykonos, Greece; Bodrum and Antalya, Turkey; and Málaga, Spain
The airline also added a host of new frequencies to several popular destinations including Montreal, Maldives, Bangkok, Phuket, Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Amman, Muscat, Helsinki, Madrid, Barcelona, Rome, Milan, Vienna, Oslo, Copenhagen, Manchester and Zurich. These additions provided even more flexibility for both business and leisure passengers.
Qsuite added to routes: In 2018, Qatar Airways added its award-winning, patented Business Class seat, Qsuite, to routes including Shanghai, São Paulo, Chicago, Houston, Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Canberra and Sydney. Passengers in these cities now have the opportunity to experience the airline’s renowned Business Class product, named ‘World’s Best Business Class Seat’ by the 2018 World Airline Awards, managed by international air transport rating organisation Skytrax.
Cargo: 2018 was a highly successful year for the airline’s Cargo division, with cargo volumes having increased by 10.6 per cent in 2018 compared to 2017. The highlight has been the launch of transpacific services, direct from Macau to Los Angeles and Mexico City. The new freighter service demonstrates the carrier's commitment to customers in helping their business grow, offering them reduced flight times and quicker service without a stopover in Doha.
The cargo carrier bagged two prestigious awards in 2018 - International Cargo Airline of the Year at Air Cargo India Event and Best Air Cargo Carrier - Middle East at the Asian Freight Logistics & Supply Chain Awards. These awards recognise the carrier's continued drive and emphasis in delivering the highest levels of service in the air cargo industry. Two brand new Boeing 777 freighters joined its cargo fleet, bringing up the total freighter fleet to 25.