Qatar Airways experienced a milestone year in 2015, from beginning with the start of A350 operations for which it was the global launch customer, to growing its fleet by 20 per cent, through to ending on a high note by launching a new brand campaign, “Going Places Together” and debuting an exclusive on-board safety video featuring the world-famous FC Barcelona players.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker said: “As 2015 comes to an end, Qatar Airways is able to reflect on a number of successes throughout the year, while also celebrating the launch of our new global brand campaign and latest on-board safety video. This has been a momentous way to end what has been a truly historic year for the national carrier of Qatar which has seen, amongst other things, several top award wins, the forging of new partnerships, strong engagement on social media, the launch of a brand new aircraft type and the start of several new routes on both its passenger and cargo networks.”
Qatar Airways recently launched its new global brand campaign featuring the tagline “Going Places Together” reflecting the essence of the airline’s core ambitious plan for next year – to strengthen its global reach by bringing people and places together. The airline also created a huge buzz by breaking industry ‘norms’ with its fresh and unique on-board safety video featuring famous FC Barcelona’s La Liga players like Lionel Messi, Neymar, Luis Suarez, Gerard Pique, Ivan Rakitic and Javier Mascherano.
“The phenomenal response to our new global brand campaign and safety video has been overwhelming and has strengthened the strong bond that Qatar Airways has with its passengers,” said Salam Al Shawa, Qatar Airways Senior Vice President Marketing & Corporate Communications. “The new brand campaign evokes an emotional connection inspiring passengers to go to new places together, where our dreams and ambitions may be brought to life. In a more humourous tone, our new safety video with FC Barcelona players has captured the attention of our passengers and the wider communities, including our large social media fan base.”
Qatar Airways started 2015 as the global launch customer of the A350, the very latest in aircraft design by Airbus. With this achievement, Qatar Airways became the first airline in the world to operate every family of Airbus’ modern airliner portfolio, comprising of the A320, A330, A340, A350 and A380.
Throughout 2015, Qatar Airways added 29 new aircraft to the fleet, increasing its total aircraft count by 20 per cent, reflecting the airline’s significant growth and expansion. At a ceremony at the Dubai Air Show in November, Qatar Airways proudly welcomed the 25th Boeing 787 Dreamliner into its young fleet, direct from the Boeing delivery centre in Seattle. The average age of Qatar Airways’ fleet is four years, amongst the youngest in the industry.
Qatar Airways launched eight destinations during 2015 – Abha, Amsterdam, Durban, Nagpur, Faisalabad, Multan, Sialkot and Zanzibar. Responding to growing demand in its existing markets, the airline increased service to more than 30 of its destinations. For instance, the airline launched an additional daily flight to Singapore this year and also had a significant increase in seat capacity of around 32 per cent by deploying a larger aircraft to Bengaluru in India, as part of its global expansion drive. Next year promises to be equally exciting with new routes planned to Adelaide, Atlanta, Birmingham, Boston, Los Angeles, Sydney and Ras Al Khaimah.
Even as the airline grew, attention and focus on service excellence remained strong. Qatar Airways was proud to be crowned Skytrax Airline of the Year for the third time in five years, being voted as the favourite airline by passengers – a major accomplishment for an airline to reach multiple times. In addition, the airline also collected two other awards: Best Business Class Airline Seat and Best Airline in the Middle East – which Qatar Airways has won for the ninth time.
The Paris Air Show in June was filled with highlights for Qatar Airways as the airline made history by displaying five aircraft at the show – an A380, A350, A320, A319 and a Boeing 787 Dreamliner. Qatar Airways had an exciting week at the show by also announcing a firm order for 10 777-8Xs and four 777 freighters with a total order value of US$4.8 billion.
Qatar Executive, Qatar Airways’ business jet division, also announced an aircraft order for up to 30 aircraft from Gulfstream, diversifying their owned-and-operated fleet for the first time. Qatar Executive took delivery of its first G650ER in December.
Qatar Airways created history in 2015 by becoming the first airline in the world to pass 10 million fans on Facebook, by using innovative and effective ways to engage with its fans.
The Skytrax Awards ceremony, at which Qatar Airways won three awards, ‘Airline of the Year’, ‘Best Business Class Seat’, ‘Best Airline in the Middle East’.
Qatar Airways’ new global brand campaign “Going Places Together”.
Qatar Airways’ FC Barcelona football fueled new safety video.
Qatar Airways featured pride of place at the Paris Air show 2015, which attracted over 200,000 visitors, by displaying five aircraft.
Qatar Airways celebrates becoming the first airline in the world to reach 10 million likes on Facebook.
Qatar Airways made a number of strategic business moves in 2015, including strengthening existing commercial ties with International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG), by acquiring a 9.99% stake in the group in January. Dhiafatina Hotels, a wholly owned subsidiary of Qatar Airways Group, owner of the Oryx Rotana hotel and the Airport Hotel at Hamad International Airport in Doha, expanded beyond the Qatari borders with the acquisition of the Sheraton Skyline Hotel at London Heathrow Airport and the Novotel Edinburgh Park Hotel in Scotland – one of the best-located hotels for travellers to Edinburgh.
To support Qatar Airways’ growth in 2015, the airline increased its group employee numbers by 14 per cent to a year-end total of more than 40,000 staff representing more than 150 nationalities.
“Qatar Airways was steadfast in its pursuit for growth and excellence this year and this was delivered against challenging situations – a testament to the unrelenting dedication of our staff, our loyal passengers and our corporate business strategy,” added Mr. Al Baker.