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What’s it Like to Fly on Qatar Airways?

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Take to the sky with one of the world’s best airlines. Join Patrick Stuart as he gets comfortable and enjoy travelling in Qatar Airways’exemplary business class.

They don’t call it the world’s 5-star airline for nothing and having been named Business Class of the Year by Skytrax for 2013, we at The Expat decided to try out the service for ourselves.

When we flew with them from KL to London via Doha last month, the first leg of the flight was on one of their superbly equipped 777-300ER aircraft and the second leg to London was on an A330-200, both with 2-2-2 configuration. There are 180-degree lie-flat beds on the 777 and a slightly angled lie-flat bed on the A330, both are extremely comfortable and spacious. But by the time this article is published, at least one of the five daily flights into and out of London will be on their new 787 Dreamliners, which like the 777, have 180-degree lie-flat beds.

But what sets Qatar apart from most of the competition is the service, quality of food and drinks on board, not to mention their x-factor – the Premium Terminal at Doha International Airport.

Exclusive to First and Business Class passengers of Qatar Airways, this unique facility is basically a private airport within the airport, offering a full bar, dining and meeting facilities, extensive lounge areas, and even its own duty-free shopping and flight gates. First Class passengers also have access to a top-class spa facility, whilst for kids and the young at heart, there is a well-equipped games room. The calming ambiance and luxurious surroundings of the Premium Terminal are a world apart from a busy airport terminal and make all the difference for a seamless connection that’s as effortless as it is enjoyable.

But it is onboard that Qatar’s Business Class service truly comes into its own, especially when it comes to epicurean matters. We enjoyed Bollinger Rosé Champagne, high-quality New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, and a lovely French Burgundy red from a list with something for all tastes to match a tasty menu of freshly prepared food. Particularly memorable was a smoked whitefish and salmon Gravlax combination served with crunchy salad leaves, perfectly complemented by the pink Bollinger. It’s not often that meals, even in premium classes on airlines, are memorable, but the food served on both legs of our flight was some of the best we have experienced in the air.

In-flight entertainment is another area in which Qatar excels. Regardless of class of travel, passengers enjoy the next generation interactive onboard entertainment system with a choice of more than 1,000 audio and video ondemand options through the airline’s Oryx Entertainment system with large personal LCD TV screens in First and Business classes.

About Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways is the national carrier of the State of Qatar. Currently undergoing rapid expansion, Qatar Airways is one of the fastest-growing airlines operating one of the youngest fleets in the world. The airline currently flies to over 130 destinations worldwide covering Europe, Middle East, Africa, South Asia, Asia Pacific, North America and South America, with a fleet of 127 aircraft.

Qatar Airways is the Middle East launch customer of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner with orders placed for a total of 60 Dreamliners of which 6 have already been delivered. The total value of new aircraft currently on order books from Boeing and Airbus for Qatar Airwarys exceeds US$50 billion for a total of 242 aircraft, including options. Operations began in 1994 when the airline was a small regional carrier serving a handful of routes. The airline was relaunched in 1997 under the mandate of the country’s leader His Highness The Emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, who outlined a vision to turn Qatar Airways into a leading international airline with the highest standards of service and excellence.

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Source: The Expat October 2013

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