January 3: Qatar Airways celebrated a successful year of strong network expansion, new aircraft deliveries and the unique achievement as the only airline to win the Skytrax Award for the World’s Best Airline for a fifth time in 2019.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker said, “2019 was another year of great achievement for Qatar Airways. There have been many highlights during the last 12 months, in particular receiving the highly prized ‘Best Airline in the World’ award from Skytrax at this year’s Paris Air Show. To have won the accolade for a record fifth time for my country and our airline was a truly special moment.”
He said that the company’s growth over the last 12 months in the face of adversity has been impressive.
The airline said in a statement that it continued its strategy of investing in the world’s most “technologically advanced” aircraft to drive its ambitious route network growth. Through the course of the year, 32 aircraft were delivered to its Doha headquarters, including its 250th aircarft, an Airbus A350-900 in March. By the close of the year, the total combined fleet size including passenger and cargo planes was 259, the statement added.
In January, the airline announced that it had converted 10 of its Airbus A321neo order to the A321LR, a longer range variant which will allow it to connect with new growing markets from Doha.
Qatar Airways launched a range of new destinations in 2019, namely Davao, Philippines; Gaborone, Botswana; Izmir, Turkey; Langkawi, Malaysia; Lisbon, Portugal; Mogadishu, Somalia; Rabat, Morocco; and Valletta, Malta, increasing the carrier’s network to over 160 destinations.
The airline also added a host of new increased frequencies to dozens of destinations including Amman, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Kuwait, Larnaca, Manchester, Miami, Milan, Penang and Vienna. Such additions are designed to give more choice and flexibility for both business and leisure passengers as well as offering flexible cargo options.
In addition, the airline signed a number of new or extended code-sharing agreements with world-class airline partners, including IndiGo Airlines, LATAM, China Southern, and Sri Lankan Airlines.