Founded in late November, 1993, Qatar Airways started operations on the 20th of January, 1994.
Originally owned by the royal family of Qatar, Qatar Airways was re-launched in 1997, under a new management team. Today, the Government of Qatar holds 50% stake of it, and the rest belongs to various private investors.
Qatar Airways made a huge leap forward in 2003, when it became the first airline in the world to pass IATA’s new, stringent IOSA safety audit.
In 2004, Qatar Airways was awarded the prestigious Five Star ranking for service excellence, joining a small elite group of airlines. The 5-Star Airline ranking is awarded by Skytrax, the independent airline industry audit, to airlines achieving the highest overall quality performance.
Qatar Airways was the official airline for the 2005 Asian Games, held in Doha.
In 2006, Qatar Airways opened, at Doha International Airport, the world’s first Premium Terminal dedicated to First and Business Class passengers and touched a significant milestone with the delivery of its 50th aircraft – an Airbus A340-600.
In 2007, Qatar Airways launched flights to North America with services from Doha to New York – Newark, via Geneva, and Washington DC, as its second US destination.
In 2009, Qatar Airways launched flights to Australia, with Melbourne as its first destination.
In 2010, Qatar Airways became one of only few airlines to fly to all six inhabited continents when it launched its first routes to South America, Buenos Aires and Sao Paulo.
In 2011, Qatar Airways achieved two other milestones: 100th destination worldwide with the launch of scheduled flights from Doha to Syria (Aleppo) and delivery of its 100th aircraft, a Boeing 777-200 Long Range jet.
In 2012, Qatar Airways became the Middle Eastern launch customer for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The airline was operating three Boeing 787 Dreamliner by the end of the year.
In 2013, Qatar Airways launched its mobile application for Android, iPhone and Blackberry, offering more convenience for the passengers.
In October, 2013, Qatar Airways became the first Gulf carrier to join the oneworld Alliance, after being elected to become a member in 2012.
In February, 2014, Qatar Airways announced the launch an all premium Business Class service from Doha to London Heathrow. First of its kind in the Middle East, the new daily service will begin in May, with an Airbus A319 aircraft fitted with 40 Business Class seats, in a two-by-two configuration with a single aisle.
In May 2014, Qatar Airways will moved its new hub and home, Qatar’s state-of-the-art Hamad International Airport, one of the most elaborate Greenfield airport projects in the world.
In September 2014, the Al Maha Airways project, a proposed airline based in Saudi Arabia fully owned by Qatar Airways, was planned to launch but did not due to licensing problems. By May 2015, Al Maha Airways had already taken delivery of 4 Airbus A320 aircraft, but, in February 2017, Qatar Airways announced that the project is canceled and Al Maha Airways will not start operations.
In January 2015, Qatar Airways became the launch customer for the A350 XWB when the first Airbus A350-900 had its first revenue flight to Frankfurt. The airline also ordered four Boeing B777F aircraft, and, in June 2015, another four Boeing 777F and ten Boeing 777-8X aircraft.
In April 2016, Qatar Airways opened its new Premium Lounge at Dubai International Airport – Concourse D, its second internationally after London Heathrow Airport. In January 2017, the airline opened its third internationally premium lounge at Charles de Gaulle Airport – Terminal 1.
As of February 2017, Qatar Airways operates the longest regularly scheduled airline flight, between Qatar – Doha and New Zealand – Auckland.
In March 2017, the new Business Class cabin, dubbed “Q Suites” – suites with doors arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration, was revealed. From summer 2017, the new Business Class cabin was introduced on the Doha to London Heathrow route on the new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, the remaining fleet being progressively retrofitted with these seats.
Since June 2017, due to the diplomatic crisis, Qatar Airways planes are banned from UAE and Saudi airports, and vice-versa, the planes owned by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are also banned from Qatar airports.
In June 2017, Qatar Airways, known for introducing industry firsts, introduced a new level of innovation with Qsuite. The airline’s award-winning Business Class experience, Qsuite, offers a double bed in Business Class and stow away privacy panels that enable passengers in adjoining seats to create their own private room – a first of its kind in the industry.
During the financial year 2017/2018, Qatar Airways launched 14 new destinations, welcomed its 200th aircraft into the fleet, and received the world’s first A350-1000 as the global launch customer of this newest generation aircraft type. The airline continued to roll out its revolutionary Business Class Qsuite across its global network and took significant investments in new ventures, such as Air Italy.
In April 2019, after around 16 years of service, Qatar Airways retired its last Airbus A340 600 from service to lower the age of its fleet. With an average aircraft age of six years, Qatar Airways fleet is one of the youngest and most modern in the industry.
In January 2020, Qatar Airways announced eight new destinations, such as Santorini, Dubrovnik, Nur-Sultan, Almaty, Accra, Lyon, etc., thus expanding its route network to 177 destinations around the world.
In March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Qatar Airways stringently implemented the most advanced safety and hygiene measures, and, as the only global airline that never stopped flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Qatar Airways accumulated unrivaled experience of how to safely and reliably carry passengers during these uncertain times. Qatar Airways and Hamad International Airport lead the industry during the pandemic, being the first global airline and first and only airport in the Middle East and Asia to achieve Skytrax 5-Star COVID-19 Safety Ratings.
In December 2020, thanks to its varied fleet of modern aircraft that allowed Qatar Airways to respond quickly to market changes, the airline was able to rebuild its network from its lowest point in May, when Qatar served only 33 destinations, to over 110 destinations. Qatar Airways even launched seven new destinations during the pandemic to meet demand.
In 2021, Qatar Airways continues leading the industry in the implementation of new safety measures to ensure that passengers are safe when traveling, both in the air and on the ground, but also to invest in the passenger experience both onboard and at Hamad International Airport. Thus, Qatar Airways became the first airline to operate the latest Honeywell’s Ultraviolet (UV) Cabin System version 2.0, to trial the IATA Travel Pass ‘Digital Passport’ mobile app in the Middle East, to operate the world’s first fully COVID-19 vaccinated flight, but also the first global airline to offer 100% touch-free ‘Zero-Touch’ in-flight entertainment technology.
In June 2021, Qatar Airways launched its new Business Class Suite featured on Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner passenger aircraft on several key routes to Europe and Asia. Qatar Airways also offers the largest international network, which currently stands at over 140 destinations, providing unrivaled connectivity to passengers and making it easy for them to change their travel dates or destination if they need to.
Qatar Airways is one of the only ten airlines in the world to be awarded the “five-star” rating by Skytrax. The airline won the “World’s Best Airline” award for the fifth time in 2019.
No deadly incidents involving Qatar Airways aircraft have been recorded so far.