Qatar Airways: Qatar’s dark horse against the crippling blockade

Qatar Airways is proving to be the most powerful weapon for Qatar to deal with blockade imposed by the GCC countries.

Qatar Airways

According to latest reports, Qatar Airways will be expanding its A350-1000 service in the U.S. to include flights to and from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) as well as expanded service from New York (JFK) starting on May 1, 2020. Qatar Airways has emerged to be most powerful airways for the tiny, gas rich state that has to face unilateral blockade imposed by the GCC countries.

The award-winning airline, which was the first to receive the A350-1000, launched its U.S. service on the New York to Doha route back in October 2018. “We are excited by the addition of the world-class A350-1000 on our Los Angeles route, as well as its introduction to our second JFK route. Qatar Airways remains dedicated to advancing innovation and fuel efficiency to ensure unprecedented levels of comfort, service, and eco-friendly travel. Every passenger is important to us, and we are confident the A350-1000 will provide an onboard experience unlike any other,” said Qatar Airways Senior Vice President of the Americas, Eric Odone.

The A350-1000 offers 327 seats across two cabins — that breaks down to 46 Qsuite Business Class seats and 281 extra-wide 18-inch seats in economy. The unique thing about Qsuites compared to other business class seats is that they offer privacy panels that stow away, allowing passengers in adjoining seats to create their own private room.

The aircraft also offers LED mood lighting that mimics sunrise and sunset to help reduce the effects of jet lag. Not to mention, the fuselage is built in a way that allows the aircraft to burn less fuel, reducing its environmental impact.

Read more: Will Qatar Airways buy new Rwandan international airport?

Qatar Airways is celebrating 10 years serving Australia this month with some amazing fare deals to Europe’s top destinations. Qatar Airways became of paramount importance for the authorities particularly after the GCC countries imposed a unilateral blockade on the tiny gas-rich country. There have been several agreements the airways has signed with other countries in the past few months.

Best Airline

Qatar Airways has been crowned the best airline in the world for 2019, according to the consumer-aviation website Skytrax. The airline moved up one spot from the 2018 list, when it ranked second behind Singapore Airlines, which was placed second on this year’s list. The website ranked airlines based on over 21 million survey responses from airline passengers.

Notably, on June 5, 2017, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt cut diplomatic ties and trade relations with Qatar, closing land, air and sea links, as they accused Doha of supporting “terrorism” and their regional rival, Iran. Doha vehemently denies the charges and says the boycott aims to impinge on its sovereignty. Qatar proved to be a self-reliant state by expanding its ties with Turkey. It also paid attention to coming out as a new global tourist destination and sport-loving nation.

Qatar Airways on its way to expand business

Qatar Airways has partnered with Katara Hospitality — the global hotel owner, developer, and operator — as a hotel partner for the special packages. The airline is offering special packages to those visiting the country.

Read more: How are India and Qatar expanding cultural relations?

“A memorable experience awaits guests of all ages with distinguished hotels across Qatar including The Ritz-Carlton, Doha; Sheraton Grand Doha; Sharq Village & Spa; Al Messila Resort & Spa; Simaisma Resort; Sealine Beach Resort; The Avenue Hotel; and Movenpick Hotel Doha,” a statement from the organizers said.

Qatar Airways and Air Italy, a privately owned Italian airline collectively announced their decision to strengthen ties by expanding their code-sharing agreement in August this year.

Air Italy’s “IG” code will be added to Qatar flights between Doha and Sydney as a result of the extension of the existing agreement between the two companies.

Qatar and Air Italy have code-shared since the latter’s conception in 2018. IG flights shared with Qatar include those between Doha and Rome (Fiumicino), Pisa, Venice, Singapore and the Maldives. Qatar Airways flights shared with Air Italy include those between Milan and Fiumicino, Naples, Olbia, and Lamezia.

The Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine and the government of Qatar have signed a protocol amending and supplementing the agreement on air traffic. Recently, Qatar Airways signed an agreement with Indigo. Analysts claim that the airways is attempting to expand its operations in order to enhance its outreach.

According to the website of the Infrastructure Ministry of Ukraine, the corresponding document was signed during the meeting of Infrastructure Minister Vladyslav Krykliy with President of the Civil Aviation Authority of Qatar Abdullah bin Nasser Turki Al Subaey. “We are liberalizing air traffic between Ukraine and the state of Qatar. The signing of today’s protocol will allow expanding the access of airlines of both countries to the air transportation market, eliminating restrictions on the number of flights, types of aircraft, and also destinations in the territories of both countries,” the minister said.

Read more: How will a swap agreement between Turkey and Qatar benefit Ankara?

Qatar Airways and IndiGo have signed a one-way codeshare agreement. In a regulatory filing, InterGlobe Aviation – the parent company of budget airline operator IndiGo – said the agreement is in-line with its international expansion plans and will enable Qatar Airways to place its code on IndiGo flights between Doha and Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad. IndiGo said this marks its second codeshare agreement as a part of its growth strategy for international markets. Shares in InterGlobe Aviation rose nearly 2 percent after the announcement.

A few days ago, Qatar Airways has agreed to take a 60 percent stake in a new $1.3bn international airport in Rwanda, the state-run Rwanda Development Board said.

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