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About the airline
The state-owned flag carrier of Qatar operates under the name of Qatar Airways and is headquartered in Doha. The airline, which was founded on 22nd of November 1993 is a member of the Oneworld Alliance and has several subsidiaries including Al Maha Airways, Qatar Airways Holidays, Qatar Executive, Qatar Aircraft Catering Company, Qatar Duty Free, United Media International, Qatar Aviation Services and Qatar Airways Cargo.
Qatar Airways’ first flight took off on the 20th of January 1994 and since then the airline has offered many flights to local and international destinations, including South Africa. Akbar Al Baker is the current CEO of Qatar Airways.
A Brief History
Qatar Airways’ first staff complement consisted of just 75 people under the leadership of the first CEO, Sheikh Hamad Bin Ali Bin Jabor Al Thani. Of the 40 000 people now employed by the Qatar Airways Group, 24 000 work directly for Qatar Airways.
In 1995, the airline’s fleet consisted of just two Airbus A310s. In 1995 the airline acquired two 747s and in 1996 it acquired a third aircraft which was a Boeing 747SP. The airline grew exponentially over the years and in 2009, placed a USD 1.9 billion order at the Paris Air Show for 20 Airbus 320s and 4 Airbus 321s.
The airline has had stable finances over the years.
The 2017 Fleet
AS of the beginning of 2017, Qatar Airways has a fleet of 192 aircraft in operation and 222 on order. The fleet includes the following:
- Airbus A319-100LR: 2
- Airbus A320-200: 39
- Airbus A321-200: 8
- Airbus A330-200: 13
- Airbus A330-300: 13
- Airbus A330-200F: 8
- Airbus A340-600: 4
- Airbus A350-900: 13
- Airbus A380-800: 6
- Boeing 777-200LR: 9
- Boeing 777-300ER: 34
- Boeing 787-8: 30
- Boeing 747-400BCF: 2
- Boeing 777F: 11.
Qatar Airways aircraft offer First Class, Business Class and Economy Class. The airline’s economy class was named the best in the world at the Skytrax Awards in 2009 and 2010.
Online Check-In Facilities
Passengers can check-in online by inputting their booking reference and personal details. Online check-in opens 48 hours to 90 minutes prior to departure.
Key Routes and International Destinations
Qatar Airways offers flights to over 150 international destinations linked across Central Asia, Europe, Africa, Far East, South Asia, North America, Middle East, South America and Oceania. In South Africa, the airline offers flights to and from Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban.
While some flights may have special restrictions on baggage, Qatar Airways offers the following allowances.
First Class – 2 pieces of checked baggage not exceeding 32kg. 2 pieces of hand baggage not exceeding 15kg.
Business Class – 2 pieces of checked baggage not exceeding 32kg. 2 pieces of hand baggage not exceeding 15kg.
Economy Class – 2 pieces of checked baggage not exceeding 23kg. 1 piece of hand baggage not exceeding 7kg.
On Board Entertainment
The on-board entertainment system is called Oryx One. All aircraft seat-backs have televisions. In-flight services include Wi-Fi, SMS, MMS and internet service. Passengers have access to over 3 000 movies, TV programs, music and games. Meals and refreshments are served on board all Qatar Airways flights.
Rewards / Frequent Flyer Program
The airline offers a frequent flyer loyalty program called “Privilege Club”. The program offers a 4-tier membership which consists of Burgundy, Silver, Gold and Platinum memberships.
Qmiles are awarded with every flight booked with Qatar Airways and other Oneworld Alliance members, and can be used to pay for tickets, excess baggage or for shopping in Qatar Duty Free.
Partnerships and Codeshare Agreements
Qatar Airways has codeshare agreements with many carriers including Air Botswana, American Airlines, Asiana Airlines, Azerbaijan Airlines, Bangkok Airways, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Comair, Finnair, Gol Transportes Aéreos, Japan Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Malaysia, Middle East Airlines, Royal Air Maroc, Royal Jordanian, S7 Airlines, SUN-Air, Srilankan Airlines and Vueling.
Contacting Qatar Airways in SA
In South Africa, passengers can contact Qatar Airways in the following ways:
Telephone: 0861 861 868 or +27 011 267 7700
Official Qatar Airways SA Website: www.qatarairways.com – NOT www.qatarairways.co.za or www.flyqatar.co.za or www.flyqatar.com.
Qatar Airways in the News
Qatar Airways signs new codeshare agreement with Finnair
Qatar Airways signs new codeshare agreement with Finnair that will benefit the South African market too. The codeshare agreement was signed to enable the airline to serve more routes to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Denmark and Sweden, but the airline will also place its code on other routes such as Bahrain, Oman, Maldives, Seychelles, Sri Lanka as well as Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban.
Qatar adds Doha to Windhoek Route
Qatar Airways now serves 23 African destinations with the addition of a Doha to Windhoek route in September 2016. Akbar Al Baker, CEO of the airline commented; “Africa remains one of our key target areas for growth”. Now connecting with over 150 destinations across the world, including South Africa and Namibia, Qatar Airways continues to extend its global network.