Qatar Airways Company Q.C.S.C. (Arabic: القطرية, Al Qatariyah), operating as Qatar Airways, is the state-owned flag carrier of Qatar. Headquartered in the Qatar Airways Tower in Doha, the airline operates a hub-and-spoke network, linking over 140 international destinations across Africa, Central Asia, Europe, Far East, South Asia, Middle East, North America, South America and Oceania from its base at Hamad International Airport, using a fleet of more than 150 aircraft.
Qatar Airways Group employs more than 31,000 people, of which 19,000 work directly for Qatar Airways. The carrier has been a member of the Oneworld alliance since October 2013, the first Gulf carrier to sign with one of the three airline alliances.
Qatar Airways was established on 22 November 1993; operations started on 20 January 1994. Amman was first served in May 1994. At April 1995, the airline’s CEO was the Sheikh Hamad Bin Ali Bin Jabor Al Thani who employed 75. By this time the fleet consisted of two Airbus A310s that served a route network including Abu Dhabi, Bangkok, Cairo, Dubai, Khartoum, Kuwait, London, Madras, Manila, Muscat, Osaka,[contradiction] Sharjah, Taipei, Tokyo and Trivandrum. During 1995, two ex-All Nippon Airways Boeing 747s were bought from Boeing.The airline acquired a second-hand Boeing 747SP from Air Mauritius in 1996.
A Qatar Airways Airbus A320-200 in old livery on short final to Domodedovo International Airport in 2005.
Services to Athens, Istanbul, Madras and Tunis were suspended in late 1996, whereas Calcutta and Muscat were removed from the route network in January and September 1997, respectively. Flights to London were launched during 1997. The airline also took delivery of two second-hand 231-seater Airbus A300-600R aircraft on lease from Ansett Worldwide Aviation Services (AWAS) during the year; they replaced two Boeing 747s. The entering of these two A300s into the fleet also marked the introduction of a new logo. A third A300-600R joined the fleet shortly afterwards, also on lease from AWAS. In July 1998 the carrier placed a firm order with Airbus for six Airbus A320s, slated for delivery between 2001 and 2005; it also took options for five more aircraft of the type. Also in 1998, the carrier struck a deal with Singapore Aircraft Leasing Enterprise (SALE) for the lease of four Airbus A320s, with deliveries scheduled between February and April 1999; these latter four aircraft were aimed at replacing the Boeing 727-200 Advanced fleet and to fill the capacity gap before the hand over of the first A320 from Airbus. The airline took delivery of the first A320 powered by Aero Engines V2500 on lease from SALE in February 1999.
A Qatar Airways Airbus A340-600 just departed from London Heathrow Airport in 2014. The airline became a customer for the type in 2003.
A fourth A300-600R on lease from AWAS joined the fleet in April 2000. In October 2000, Qatar Airways ordered an International Aero Engines V2500-powered Airbus A319CJ and took an option for another aircraft of the type. The airline became the Airbus A380 ’s ninth customer in 2001 when two aircraft of the type were ordered, plus two options. Also that year, the airline resumed services to Jakarta. In 2002, the government of Qatar withdrew from Gulf Air. In June 2003, a Qatar Airways Airbus A320 was the first aircraft that resumed the international services to Iraq when it flew the Doha–Basra route. Also that month, Qatar Airways incorporated its first dedicated cargo aircraft to the fleet. It was an Airbus A300-600R that was converted to freighter in Germany for US$10 million. Also in June 2003, at the Paris Air Show, the carrier placed an order with Airbus valued at US$5.1 billion for two Airbus A321s, 14 Airbus A330s and two Airbus A340-600s. The deal included eight A330-200s and six -300s; it also included options for further six A330-300s and eight A340-600s. The first aircraft were scheduled to enter the fleet in 2004, with the A340-600 slated for delivery in 2006. During the year the airline started serving the Chinese market with the introduction of flights to Shanghai. Also in 2003, the carrier expanded its portfolio of destinations with the commencement of services to Manchester in April, Tripoli in November, and Cebu and Singapore in December. During the 2003 Dubai Air Show the airline firmed up an earlier commitment for two Airbus A380s and took options for another two of these aircraft. The value of the transaction was US$1.2 billion. It was also in 2003 that Qatar Airways became the first airline to be audited under the new IATA operational audit programme, IOSA.
The Qatar Airways Group —which included Qatar Airways, Doha International Airport and corporate business air services, ground handling and in-flight catering companies— reported its first profit ever for the fiscal year (FY) that ended on March 2004. The FY2004 saw the airline transporting 3.35 million passengers. Zurich became the carrier ’s 53rd destination worldwide in July 2004; Yangon was added to the list of destinations in December the same year. A new service to Osaka was launched in March 2005. Its first A340 was delivered on September 8, 2006.
In May 2007, Qatar Airways and Airbus signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the acquisition of 80 Airbus A350 XWBs, including 20 A350-800s plus 40 and 20 aircraft of the –900 and –1000 variant, respectively, with the first aircraft initially slated for delivery in 2013. The agreement was firmed up in June during the 2007 Paris Air Show; three more Airbus A380s were also made part of the order. In July the same year, during the unveiling ceremony of the Boeing 787 in Everett, Qatar Airways was recognised as a future customer for the type when its logo appeared on one side of the brand new aircraft. By that time, the airline had not acknowledged it had placed an order for a number of these new aircraft. In November the same year, a firm order for 30 Boeing 787-8s, plus options for 35 more aircraft of the –9 or –10 variant, was confirmed. The order also included 14 Boeing 777-300ERs, six Boeing 777-200LRs and seven Boeing 777Fs, whereas five more aircraft of the type were on option. The combined order was valued at US$13.5 billion. The airline took delivery of its first 335-seater Boeing 777-300ER in late November 2007. The route network grew further during 2007 with the incorporation of Newark in June, Nagpur —the carrier ’s seventh destination in India— in September, and Stockholm in November. A new scheduled service to New York-JFK that commenced in November 2008 replaced the Newark route. The first two Boeing 777-200LRs were handed over by the aircraft manufacturer in February 2009.
On June 15, 2009, at the Paris Air Show, Qatar Airways ordered 20 Airbus A320 and 4 Airbus A321 aircraft worth $1.9bn.
On October 12, 2009, the company completed the world’s first commercial passenger flight powered by a fuel made from natural gas, Also in 2009, Qatar Airways launched its first scheduled flights to Australia with Melbourne being the first city served; routes to Chengdu, Hangzhou, Phnom Penh and Clark International Airport in the Philippines were launched during 2009 as well.
Tokyo-Narita was first served by the carrier in April 2010. On May 18, 2010, the airline put its first Boeing 777F (A7-BFA) into service, with a flight from Doha to Amsterdam. The aircraft had been delivered on May 14, 2010.
The airline has launched 22 new destinations since 2010, with nine more destinations announced: Ankara, Aleppo, Bangalore, Barcelona, Brussels, Bucharest, Budapest, Buenos Aires, Copenhagen, Hanoi, Montreal, Nice, Phuket, São Paulo, Shiraz, Kolkata, Medina, Oslo, Sofia, Stuttgart, Venice and Tokyo. Qatar Airways also launched Benghazi and Entebbe during 2011. Service to Baku and Tbilisi, originally planned for 2011, was delayed until February 1, 2012 due to “operational issues”.
Boeing ’s handover of a Boeing 777-200LR in September 2011 marked Qatar Airways receiving its 100th aircraft from this aircraft manufacturer. In November the same year, at the Dubai Airshow, the airline ordered 55 Airbus planes: 50 A320neo and 5 A380, in addition to two Boeing 777 freighters.
In July 2012, Perth became the second city served in Australia. On October 8, 2012, Qatar Airways announced its intention to join the Oneworld alliance.
Qatar Airways became the seventh carrier worldwide that incorporated the Dreamliner to the fleet when Boeing handed over the airline ’s first aircraft of the type on 12 November 2012, the first one delivered to a Middle East airline. The aircraft was deployed on the Doha–Dubai corridor on 20 November. Dreamliner services on the long-haul Doha–London-Heathrow route commenced on 13 December, with the airline becoming the first one to offer regular services to the United Kingdom using this aircraft. During 2013, Qatar Airways launched flights to Gassim in Saudi Arabia, Basra and Najaf in Iraq, Phnom Penh, Salalah and Chicago. Services to Ethiopia began in September 2013.
In February 2013, Qatar Airways launched its European Customer Service, which is located in Wrocław, Poland.
In June 2013, the airline firmed up an order for two Boeing 777-300ER aircraft plus seven options. On November 17, 2013, the first day of the Dubai Airshow, Qatar Airways purchased 50 Boeing 777-9Xs. The commitment was firmed up during the 2014 Farnborough Air Show in a deal worth US$18.9 billion; purchase rights for another 50 aircraft of the type were also taken. In addition, the transaction included firm orders for four Boeing 777Fs plus options for another four with a combined value of US$2.7 billion. Deliveries of the passenger aircraft are expected to start in 2020.
An all-business class flight to London Heathrow was launched in May 2014 with Airbus A319LR aircraft. Flights to Edinburgh were launched in May 2014. The carrier expected to take delivery of its first three Airbus A380 aircraft in June 2014, with plans for the aircraft to be displayed at the Farnborough Air Show. There were intentions to first deploy the type on the Doha-Hamad–London-Heathrow route starting 17 June; another two undisclosed European points would likely become served with the A380. In late May 2014, it was reported the delivery of the aircraft would be delayed by several weeks. Further delays shifted the start of A380 services to London to 1 August 2014. Delivery of the first aircraft of the type finally took place on 16 September 2014. A380 services to London commenced in October 2014. The airline became the launch customer for the A350 XWB; the first Airbus A350-900 was handed over to the company on 22 December 2014 and had its first revenue flight to Frankfurt almost a month later, on 15 January 2015.
In January 2015, the airline concluded an order for four Boeing 777Fs in a deal worth US$1.24 billion; Qatar Airways also took purchase rights on four more aircraft of the type. In June 2015, it was disclosed Qatar Airways ordered ten Boeing 777-8Xs and four additional Boeing 777Fs for USD 4.18 billion.
In January 2016, the carrier received its first Boeing 747 nose loader.