Despite the illegal blockade imposed by neighbouring countries on June 5, 2017, Qatar Airways has succeeded in demonstrating the its strength and resilience by becoming the current largest passenger airline, and the largest cargo airline.
These coupled with the fact that it is also the Best Airline in the World, while its main hub is the third Best Airport in the World is enough to make the State of Qatar proud. Significantly, the airline’s share of the passenger and air cargo market has grown significantly over the past three months.
The airline’s ability to not only continue operating but also expand to more than 30 new destinations despite the challenges of the illegal blockade set the building blocks for it to be able to continue operating a robust and agile schedule throughout this crisis. While other airlines in the region stopped services during the crisis, Qatar Airways has continued to operate a significant schedule operating over 15,000 flights to take over 1.8 million people home.
The airline’s cargo division has prioritised medical and aid shipments working closely with governments and NGOs to transport over 200,000 tonnes of essential supplies to impacted regions. “It has been a testing few years but Qatar Airways will always continue to represent our country with integrity, flying our nation’s flag proudly around the world.
Our robust business planning, swift actions in the face of the crisis, customer-focused solutions and dedicated staff have enabled us to continue succeeding in the face of two unprecedented aviation events,” said H E Akbar Al Baker, Group Chief Executive, Qatar Airways.
“Despite the many attempts by the blockading countries to blemish our excellent reputation, I am proud to say that my country and the airline have managed to persevere and grow over the last three years,” H E Akbar Al Baker said.
“Our airline like our country remains open to engagement, that is why when gave away 100,000 complimentary tickets to health care workers around the world to say thank-you for their important work during this crisis. We even allocated tickets for the blockading countries, further highlighting our noble and philanthropic intentions. I am pleased that health care professionals in all of these countries claimed the full allocation, and we look forward to taking them on a thoroughly deserved holiday as travel restrictions around the world ease” added H E Akbar Al Baker.
“The Qatar Airways Group, like the nation it represents is resilient and strong. The achievements we have made despite the illegal blockade stand as a tribute to the commitment, drive and perseverance of our staff and of our nation under its young ruler Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, to whom we dedicate our work,” said H E Akbar Al Baker.
Even with the challenges of the blockade, Qatar Airways has remained steadfast in its commitment to offering the very best travel experience to all its passengers. This is why the airline has continued to win awards, with more than 160 accolades received over the last three years.
The national carrier of the State of Qatar was recognised in 2019 as the ‘World’s Best Airline’ – for a record fifth time – it also won ‘World’s Best Business Class,’ ‘Best Business Class Seat,’ and ‘Best Airline in the Middle East’ at the 2019 World Airline Awards, managed by international air transport rating organisation Skytrax. Qatar Airways Cargo has become the leader in global air freight since the illegal blockade was imposed. Its leadership has been recognised multiple times, including with it recently receiving the prestigious International Cargo Airline of the Year award at the 2020 STAT Times Awards.
This follows the air freight carrier also receiving the Global Air Cargo Airline of the Year in 2019 and being runner-up for the Global Air Cargo Brand of the Year and International Cargo Airline of the Year in Africa awards. These awards are testament to the cargo carrier’s resilience in spite of the blockade and continued drive and emphasis on innovation, customer centricity, and service excellence.
The airline’s home and hub, Hamad International Airport (HIA) has also continued to lead the industry being recently voted the ‘Best Airport in the Middle East’ for the sixth year in a row and ‘Best Staff Service in the Middle East’ for the fifth year in a row. It was also ranked “Third Best Airport in the World,” among 550 airports worldwide, by the SKYTRAX World Airport Awards 2020. Rising from fourth position in 2019 to third in 2020, HIA has been steadily rising in the ‘World’s Best Airports’ rankings since the start of its operations in 2014.