Tag Archives: Qatar Airways

Top 15 Most Loved Airlines: Asia Dominates

The next time you can’t decide which airlines to fly, consider Garuda Airlines. The Indonesian national carrier has taken top spot this year as “the most loved airlines”, according to a list compiled by Skytrax. It is hard to believe that Garuda is the top flier today, having been through a rough patch lasting most of the 1990s and 2000s (it was banned from European airspace until 2009).

Well, everyone loves a comeback story and, even better than that, it seemed the Indonesian firm won by a mile in 2016. It received an impressive approval rating of 85 percent by fliers, ahead of Asiana Airlines and Eva Air, also Asian carriers. In fact, these are but three of the 11 Asian airlines that took the top 15 spots, proving that they are only growing in popularity. Also notable is the absence of any U.S carriers in the top 15, although Virgin Airlines manages to sneak in at 15.

Analysts looked at how customers rated their overall flight experience, which measured on a scale of one to 10. Passengers had to consider everything from seat comfort, onboard services, food and beverages, in-flight entertainment and value for money.

Greece carrier Aegean Airlines placed fourth on the list, making it the highest non-Asian carrier, while Virgin Airlines 15th place showing made it the only North American carrier. Low-cost carrier Ryanair also scored six percent higher than UK’s flagship carrier British Airways at 62 percent. Delta Airlines won the race as the highest-ranked major U.S carrier, followed by United and American Airlines.

Here, a list of the top 15 “Most loved airlines” according to Skytrax reviews.

  • 1. Garuda Indonesia
  • 2. Asiana Airlines
  • 3. Eva Air
  • 4. Aegean Airlines
  • 5. Korean Air
  • 6. Bangkok Airways
  • 7. Singapore Airlines
  • 8. AirAsia X
  • 9. ANA All Nippon Airways
  • 10. Royal Brunei Airlines
  • 11. Japan Airlines
  • 12. Qatar Airways
  • 13. China Southern Airlines
  • 14. Oman Air
  • 15. Virgin America
Luxuo Airbus A380 exclusive search function

Prefer Flying A380? Airbus Launches Dedicated Search

Travelers looking to fly long-haul on the Airbus superjumbo can now book tickets directly via a new dedicated online search platform developed by the aircraft’s maker. Why would this be useful? If for example you love Etihad’s suites or the same on Qatar, Emirates or Singapore Airlines, what unites all these excellent options is the Airbus A380 so being able to search for A380-specific flights may help you find the right service.

A survey of passengers arriving at London Heathrow Airport quoted by Airbus reveals that 60% of passengers are willing to put their hand in their pocket to fly on the A380. Some, it seems, are ready to go the extra mile to travel long-haul onboard one of the airliner’s two passenger decks.

Today more than ever, aircraft type is an important factor for travelers booking flights. However, passengers aren’t able to search specifically for tickets on their favorite planes when booking online. Now, thanks to a new travel search engine called iflya380.com, travelers looking specifically to fly on the Airbus A380 can do just that.

The site takes the form of a regular travel search engine for booking flights, but here, only flights operated by A380 aircraft are listed in the results. Thirteen airlines currently operate the Airbus superjumbo, which offers passengers more spacious traveling conditions and a quieter cabin: Emirates Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa, British Airways, Qantas, Air France, Korean Air, Etihad Airways, Malaysia Airlines, Qatar Airways, Thai Airways, China Southern Airlines and Asiana Airlines.

The site, launched by Airbus, lets users view and compare the range of onboard services from each carrier. Users search for flights by entering details such as departure and destination airports, dates of travel and preferred class. However, passengers are redirected to the airline’s own page for the final stages of booking.

Luxuo Airbus A380 exclusive search function

Etihad Airways: Best First Class Airline 2016

An airline is more than just a means to an end and Skytrax knows this all too well, hence it has been evaluating and recognizing airlines around the world for excellence since 1999. This year, Emirates is crowned king of the skies, as World’s Best Airline while Etihad Airways bags top honors in luxury, as the World’s Best First Class Airline 2016. Making it a triple-header for Gulf airlines, Qatar Airways is the World’s Best Business Class Airline in 2016. No American airlines made the top 10 this year, which you can see at the bottom of this article.

Etihad Airways First Apartment

Etihad Airways First Apartment

Etihad didn’t just bag the award for World’s Best First Class Airline. For the second time in its history, Etihad took home two other titles: World’s Best First Class Onboard Catering and World’s Best First Class Airline Seat for its First Apartments and Suites.

For its part, Emirates returned to the top of the pile this year, displacing perennial rivals Qatar Airways (last year’s overall winner) and Singapore Airlines (second last year, third in 2016). Emirates was also crowned best airline for keeping passengers entertained, an award the carrier has won for the last 12 years.

Calum Laming, Vice President of Guest Experience at Etihad Airways, said “The airline is tremendously proud that, based on the results of a huge global customer satisfaction survey, we have yet again been presented with these prestigious awards for the world’s finest First Class experience.” He added that “We have enhanced the experience even further this year through investment in our products, services and cabins and this is a welcome reward for those efforts.”

Etihad Airways: First Apartment Bed

Etihad Airways: First Apartment Bed

With nine First Apartments aboard the A380, guests can relax tens of thousands of feet above the ground in spaces that are said to be 74% larger than Etihad’s current First Class suites. Within this 39-square-foot space, the airline has installed a Poltrona Frau leather armchair and ottoman that can create a 80.5-inch long bed. Guests also have a dedicated shower room — who said travelling first class was anything but fancy?

To ensure that you never go hungry during a flight, the airline even offers up a sumptuous menu that features fine steaks, sides and sauces that are prepared by onboard Chefs. These professionally trained crew members can even craft a meal based on the request of each passenger for that bespoke dining experience.

Etihad Airways: Onboard Chef's serve the First Class Cabins for each flight

Etihad Airways: Onboard Chef’s serve the First Class Cabins for each flight

Capping off the first class experience with Etihad and cementing its status as the World’s Best Airline of 2016, is the First Class lounge & spa. Located at Abu Dhabi International Airport, first class passengers are given access to an array of services such as a fitness room. Cigar lounge, Six Senses Spa, Style & Shave barbers and even a nail bar.

Other awards categories see Cathay Pacific emerge tops for cabin cleanliness, which is always a plus, and marked yet another year of Asian airlines dominating the awards. Indeed, only Qantas and Lufthansa cracked the top 10 best in the world 2016, if one counts Turkish Airlines as Asian. Asian airlines were once again honored for their top-quality crews, with Garuda Indonesia winning “Best Airline Cabin Staff” for the third consecutive year, ahead of All Nippon Airways (second), Singapore Airlines (third), Thai Airways (fourth) and Eva Air (fifth, Taiwan).

In case you are curious, the top 10 airlines in the world for 2016 are as follows:

1. Emirates
2. Qatar Airways
3. Singapore Airlines
4. Cathay Pacific
5. ANA All Nippon Airways
6. Etihad Airways
7. Turkish Airlines
8. EVA Air
9. Qantas Airways
10. Lufthansa

The top First Class airlines are as follows:

1. Etihad Airways
2. Cathay Pacific
3. Air France
4. ANA All Nippon Airways
5. Singapore Airlines
6. Emirates
7. Lufthansa
8. Qatar Airways
9. Qantas Airways
10. Garuda Indonesia

To find out more about the World’s Top 10 Airlines 2016, click here.

QatarA380

World’s best airline 2015: Qatar Airways

QatarA380

Qatar has knocked Cathay Pacific Airways from its perch to be named the world’s new favorite airline for 2015.

In a worldwide survey that polled about 18 million travelers, Qatar’s flagship carrier took the top spot in Skytrax’s annual World Airline Awards.

Results were announced at the International Paris Air Show Tuesday.

The award is a coup for an airline that officially launched in 1997 with only four aircraft.

Today, the luxury carrier boasts one of the industry’s shiniest and newest fleets with 158 aircraft averaging four years of age, in addition to a string of firsts and airline records.

In December, Qatar Airways became the global launch customer of the Airbus A350 XWB , a wide-bodied aircraft that seats nine passengers across and features the industry’s first lie-flat double bed, for which the airline has obtained proprietary rights.

The 80-inch flat beds feature in the business class cabin.

The delivery of the A350 XWB (pictured above) made Qatar the first airline in the world to operate every family member of Airbus’s airline portfolio.

First class flyers also receive the royal treatment, be it amenity kits filled with Giorgio Armani toiletries and sleeper suits, noise canceling headphones or fine dining meals developed by celebrity chefs Nobu Matsuhisa and Vineet Bhatia.

This year, the carrier launched new routes from Doha to Amsterdam, Durban, South Africa and Zanzibar, Tanzania.

In 2016, the network will also expand to Los Angeles, Boston and Atlanta.

Other big winners from the Skytrax World Airline Awards 2015

World’s best low-cost airline for 2015: AirAsia, Malaysia
World’s Best Airport Services:  ANA, Japan
Best Inflight Entertainment: Emirates
World’s Best Aircraft Cabin Cleanliness:  EVA Air, Taiwan
World’s Best Airline Alliance: Oneworld
Best Staff Service Asia: ANA, Japan
Most improved airline: Air France
Best economy class: Asiana Airlines, South Korea
Best business class: Singapore Airlines
Best leisure airline: Thomson Airways
Best Airline Transpacific: Cathay Pacific
Best Airline Transatlantic: Lufthansa
Best Staff Service North America: Virgin America

Check back at www.worldairlineawards.com/ for the full results.

Qatar first class bed Qatar first class lavatory Qatar first class table Qatar first class lounge

Qatar Airways Airbus A340-600

Qatar Airways flies into the hotel business

Qatar Airways Airbus A340-600

Qatar Airlines is currently in negotiations to buy three hotels situated in North America and in the UK.

The company’s chief executive Akbar Al Baker, confirmed the news during a press conference at the ITB Berlin travel and trade show.

The new acquisitions would give the flag carrier a fledgling chain of four hotels, having recently taken over the Sheraton Skyline Hotel at London’s Heathrow airport (pictured below).

Sheraton Skyline Hotel

Meanwhile the Virgin Group, which counts airlines among its many businesses, also recently opened its first Virgin Hotel in Chicago, with other locations planned for Nashville and New York.

Qatar Airways A350 XWB

Qatar introduces double beds in business class cabins

Qatar Airways A350 XWB

 is rolling out lie-flat seats equal to the size of a double bed for business class flyers on their latest aircraft.

At a press conference in Doha this week, the carrier showcased the new features of the A350 XWB, their latest fleet acquisition that includes exclusive 80-inch flat beds to which Qatar has obtained proprietary rights.

The new cabin innovation is Qatar’s answer to rival Etihad, which threw down the gauntlet in luxury air travel when it launched its onboard apartment concept last year, a three-room suite that comes with shower and personal butler.

Qatar Airways A350 XWB business class

Qatar calls its latest double bed offering unrivalled in the industry and claims it could shake up traditional cabin configurations by making first class redundant.

On the A350 XWB, for instance, the airline has eliminated a first class cabin and kept the configuration to economy and business.

The double beds will be offered at business class fares. 

The maiden commercial service will roll out on a sold-out flight from Doha to Frankfurt on January 15.

Emirates amenity kit

The 5 Top First Class Airline Amenity Kits

Emirates amenity kit

Cheapflights.com has examined the on-board  handed out to first and business class passengers flying 27 airlines around the world.

Of the airlines examined, five were given a full six-star rating: Qatar Airways, Emirates, Etihad, Japan Airlines and United Airlines.

japan airlines amenity kit

“For many of us, First Class and Business Class are a mysterious place and we wanted to get a better idea of what life is like in that rarefied space.”

The kits are glorious examples of life’s ‘finer things’ and a peek into a lifestyle that maybe, on a special occasion, we can achieve as well,” said Oonagh Shiel, Cheapflights editor.

“After examining all these kits, though, we were struck mostly by the attention to detail and the touches of local cultures and craftsmanship that are a reminder of how diverse the world is and how exciting travel can be.”

etihad airways amenity kit

Passengers flying  receive a kit created in collaboration with Emirati enterprise Sougha, which promotes local artisans. Bags feature patterns of an ancient Abu Dhabi weaving craft, Sadou, that evoke Bedouin tents.

 collaborated with Spanish luxury brand Loewe to create its amenity kit, while Qatar bags are filled with diversions for kids (pictured below) — Spongebob backpacks, coloring books, and a toy — and adults get ultra-luxe products from Dior and Ferragamo.

qatar airways amenity kit

In addition to Bulgari products, what makes the kit particularly special is its dark brown leather bag, soft and “ever so slightly distressed.”

And while not as fancy as its Middle Eastern rivals, UNITED AIRLINES scored a six-star rating — classified as ‘fly me to the moon’ — for its value.

united airlines Emirates amenity kit

Aside from the usual suspects — toothbrush, toothpaste, eye mask and earplugs — the kit (pictured above) also includes a shoe horn, hand sanitizer, floss, mints, comb, wiping cloth, pen and Philosophy products.

Cathay Pacific 777 300ER

Cathay Pacific Airways named world’s best airline

Cathay Pacific 777 300ER

More than 18 million travelers have spoken, and they’ve voted Hong Kong’s flagship carrier  the world’s best airline!.

Airline passengers from 160 countries participated in the annual Skytrax World Airline Awards and helped Cathay bump last year’s winner, Emirates, from the top spot. Cathay also took the title in 2003, 2005 and 2009.

Emirates took a tumble to 4th place, coming in after  and SINGAPORE AIRLINES which came in second and third place respectively.

Of note: The top 10 list is absent of any North American airlines and is dominated by Middle Eastern and Asian carriers.

Cathay Pacific Airways First class

One reviewer on the Skytrax airline review forum gave Cathay a perfect score for his “exceptional” flight between Hong Kong and London that included a solid six hours of slumber in comfortable seats and a “superb” in-flight menu that featured lamb shoulder confit.

“Overall a great journey and my new favourite airline for business class.”

Over the last four years, the carrier has invested $4.9 billion HK ($632 million USD) in cabin makeovers.

SEE ALSO: CATHAY TO SERVE RESTAURANT MEALS IN THE SKY

Cathay Pacific Airways long haul business class

Passengers traveling first class enjoy seats that can transform into lie-flat beds with thicker mattresses, and luxury Ermenegildo Zegna amenity kits for men and Trussardi amenity bags for women.

Seats in economy class have also been refurbished with a cradle mechanism in the seatback that allows for a six-inch recline. That translates to more legroom and overall space.

Seats come with personal touchscreen TVs, power supplies for charging portable devices and extra storage space.

SEE ALSO: THE BEST FLIGHT ATTENDANTS ARE FROM ASIA

Cathay Pacific Airways economy class

Here are the World’s Top 10 airlines, as voted by flyers between August 2013 and May 2014:

1. Cathay Pacific Airways
2. Qatar Airways
3. Singapore Airlines
4. Emirates
5. Turkish Airlines
6. ANA All Nippon Airways
7. Garuda Indonesia
8. Asiana Airlines
9. Etihad Airways
10. Lufthansa

qatar airways a380 first class cabin

Qatar Airways Unveils A380 First Class

Qatar Airways unveiled the cabin interior of its Airbus A380s at the ITB trade fair in Berlin on Wednesday, which features a new first-class product.

qatar airways a380 first class cabin

With a customised interior, the new A380s will enter service this year. Thirteen such aircraft have been ordered by the airline.

The new First Class A380 seat features a 90-inch seat pitch, transforming into a fully flat bed, together with entertainment options displayed on individual 19-inch television screens.

qatar airways a380 first class

First class passengers will have access to an exclusive lounge on board, and the new cabin will also offer a “dining for two” option in which passengers can sit opposite one another. The Gulf carrier claimed passengers will be able to sit in this position even during take-off.

qatar airways a380 first class bed

Qatar Airways will inaugurate the A380 on services between the brand-new Hamad International airport in Doha and London Heathrow later this year.

All business class jet launched by Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways has announced plans to launch a new all-business class flight from Doha to London that will be reserved exclusively for their top-tier flyers.

Qatar Airways all business class flight cabin

When the daily service is launched in May, there will be no curtain dividers to separate the cabins as everyone aboard the A319 aircraft will be a business class passenger.

The single-aisle aircraft is configured to seat 40 passengers in a two-by-two configuration, and seats recline fully into flat beds.

Qatar Airways all business class cabin

Passengers will have access to the airline’s Oryx entertainment system, with more than 900 movies, TV shows, video games and music channels.

And they will also be able to keep in touch with people on the ground, with access to SMS mobile texting GSM and GPRS services.

qatar london heathrow premium lounge airport

While waiting for their flights, passengers booked on to the new service will have access to the Qatar Airways lounge in Heathrow, and the Premium Terminal in Doha.

Launching on May 15, the extra flight will operate a work-friendly schedule, leaving London at 9.55pm, arriving in Doha at 6.40am the following day.

Premium Terminal Doha First Cass Lounge

The service, the first of its kind in the Middle East, is in addition to the five flights currently operated by Qatar Airways to Heathrow.

 

Etihad first class meal

6 Airlines With Celebrity Chefs Onboard

Etihad Airway First Class Chef

If you’re getting ready for a long-haul flight to your vacation destination, you may not be looking forward to the on-board meal. Between soggy sandwiches and microwaved chicken cutlets, airplane food often leaves a lot to be desired. But there are exceptions: these airlines have called upon master chefs for in-flight cuisine that’s a cut above the rest.

Etihad Airways

The UAE airline took home the honors for “Best First Class Meals” in the 2013 Skytrax World Airline Awards. Over the past two years, Etihad has recruited chefs from the world’s top restaurants. On board for select international flights, master chefs offer gourmet fare rivaling that of fine dining restaurants.

Fresh and organic ingredients take center stage. The eggs and honey used in the kitchen, for example, come straight from an organic farm in Abu Dhabi.

Air France

For its business class, Air France calls upon a new master chef every eight months to create gourmet fare for its long-haul flights from Paris. Through October 2013, travelers can enjoy the cuisine of Michel Roth, chef at “L’Espadon,” the restaurant of the Ritz in Paris. In first class, the menus are created by Michelin-starred chefs including Joël Robuchon and Guy Martin.

Qatar Airways

Last year, Qatar Airways recruited a gourmet all-star team to create a transnational menu. Starred chefs Nobu Matsuhisa (Japan) and Tom Aikens (United Kingdom), as well as Lebanese chef Ramzi Choueiri and  Indian chef Vineet Bathia have created dishes inspired by their home countries.

The cuisine has been prepared with two particular challenges in mind: limited preparation methods available and the possibility of an altered sense of taste in high altitudes. This globe-trotting gastronomy can be found in first and business class on international flights.

Lufthansa

The German airline’s first class service also includes a high-end culinary experience. On long-haul flights from German cities, master chefs take turns offering well-crafted and creative menus. This summer, Joachim Wissler, who holds three Michelin stars and was voted “Chef of Chefs” by his German colleagues, offers among other delicacies a green pea mousse with mozzarella and tomato basil sauce.

Flights to Germany also feature the cuisine of gourmet chefs, chosen from the best restaurants in the countries of departure. Next October and November, for example, passengers will savor the creations of French chef Marc Haeberlin of L’Auberge de l’Ill in the Alsace region.

Singapore Airlines

For several years now, the Singaporean airline has relied on a panel of nine internationally renowned chefs for its in-flight meals. The dishes served in premium and business class were created by French chef George Blanc, whose restaurant in Vonnas holds three Michelin stars, Italian chef Carlo Craco (two Michelin stars) and Alfred Portale of New York.

Delta Air Lines

Delta recently announced that it was giving its in-flight menu a TV twist, by creating a competitive culinary show that will see four top US chefs — Hugh Acheson, Linton Hopkins, Kelly English, and George Mendes — go up against one another for the prize of developing the dish ideas for passengers.

Qatar Airways opens Harrods ticket office

Qatar Airways Harrods

Qatar Airways has launched its flagship high-street ticket office at the iconic Harrods department store in Knightsbridge London – next to the Harrods Bank.

Customers will be able to book flights to over 128 destinations around the world from the office, as well as take advantage of the company’s personalised booking service.

With an emphasis on luxury, the world-famous store seems a natural fit for the airline, which offers meals created by Michelin-starred chefs for passengers flying in its Premium Class.

Mohammed Al-Fayed sold Harrods for £1.5 billion to investment company Qatar Holdings in 2010, including the Harrods Estates and its charter aircraft service, forging a close link to the Arab state.

Emirates A380

Top 20 airlines in the world

Emirates A380

Middle Eastern and Asian carriers have emerged the big winners in a list of the world’s top 20 airlines as decided by flyers from 160 countries.

Emirates took the top spot at the 2013 edition of the Skytrax World Airline Awards held at the Paris Air Show this week, where the Dubai-based carrier succeeded in bumping rival Qatar from a place it’s occupied for the last two years.

The winners are based on more than 18 million customer surveys which measure passenger satisfaction in areas such as check-in, boarding, onboard seat comfort, cabin cleanliness, staff, in-flight dining and entertainment. The awards covered 200 carriers. Here’s how airlines stacked up:

1. Emirates
2. Qatar Airways
3. Singapore Airlines
4. ANA All Nippon Airways
5. Asiana Airlines
6. Cathay Pacific Airways
7. Etihad Airways
8. Garuda Indonesia
9. Turkish Airlines
10. Qantas Airways
11. Lufthansa
12. EVA Air
13.Virgin Australia
14. Malaysia Air
15. Thai Airways
16. Swiss Int’l Air Lines
17. Korean Air
18. Air New Zealand
19. Hainan Airlines
20. Air Canada

For the full ranking of top 100 airlines, visit http://bit.ly/1bRFXa9.

Qatar Airways

Doha airport home to world’s best ‘premium’ terminal

Premium Terminal Doha First Cass Lounge

Deep-pocketed travelers who fly business class have voted the Premium Terminal at Doha International Airport the best in the world for the third year in a row, for services like personal chauffeurs, five-star dining options and in-transit spa and sauna experiences.

Announced in Geneva this week, voters in Skytrax’s World’s Best Airport Awards named the luxury terminal by Qatar Airways the World’s Best Premium Service Airport, a US$100 million, 10,000-square-meter space built in 2006.

Doha’s Premium Terminal acts as a separate, self-contained airport for the fabulously rich and famous, with its own duty-free shopping area, self-service check-in kiosks and dedicated e-gates to speed up immigration formalities.

Premium Terminal Doha Duty Free

Reserved for first and business class travelers on Qatar Airways, passengers are privy to a personal chauffeur who will shuttle them to and from their plane.

After being greeted by a concierge, visitors can choose between an array of five-star dining options such as hot and cold Arabic and international cuisine,  unwind in a spa and Jacuzzi, or get a massage.

Showers and private layover rooms are also available for passengers who want to freshen up and squeeze in a nap before boarding their next flight.

Jacuzzi at Doha Airport

Families can likewise avail themselves of the nurseries and children’s play area, while business travelers have a conference and meeting room at their disposal.

Here are the Top 5 Best Premium Service Airports in the world:

1.      Premium Terminal Doha International Airport, Qatar Airways
2.      Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport, Thai Airways
3.      First Class Terminal, Frankfurt Airport, Lufthansa
4.      Abu Dhabi International Airport, Terminal 3
5.      SATS Singapore Changi Airport, Terminal 2

Dining at Doha Airport

Qatar Airways Airbus A340-600

Qatar Airways named ‘World’s Best Airline’

Qatar Airways Airbus A340-600

Airline review site Skytrax has named the best airlines of the year – based on surveys of passengers – at the Paris Air Show.

Qatar Airways beat Singapore Airlines to first place in the 2011 rankings, rising from third place, while Asiana dropped from the top of the table to take third place.

Cathay Pacific won fourth place in the overall rankings, while Thai Airways took fifth and Etihad took sixth at the awards, which were announced June 22.
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Aerial view luxury Burj Al Arab

Dubai named Middle East’s best destination

Aerial view luxury Burj Al Arab

The Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai has been voted the best hotel in the Middle East for the eighth year in a row.

The plush property was one of a host of winners at this week’s World Travel Awards‘ Middle East ceremony, the first in a whistlestop World Travel Awards tour which will see further regional ceremonies in Antalya, Turkey; Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt; Bangkok, Thailand and Montego Bay, Jamaica before the year is out.

Also picking up prizes in the competition, billed as “the Oscars of travel,” were Emirates, Etihad and Qatar, the region’s leading airlines.
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