Qatar Airways offers free laptops on US flights

Qatar Airways laptop loan service poster

Qatar Airways has announced that it will provide a laptop computer loan service to business class passengers affected by the US government’s disruptive electronics ban.

The complimentary laptops will be available to those travelling in business class on all US-bound flights from next week, and can be collected after boarding. Customers will be able to download their work on to a USB before boarding, and continue working once airborne.

As Emirates has done, Qatar Airways is offering a special service at the gate for all passengers, whereby any electronic items prohibited by the new ban are collected and securely packaged. These are then tagged, loaded as check-in baggage and returned on arrival in the US.

Additionally, the airline is providing one hour’s free wifi to all passengers and a special wifi package of US$5 to stay connected for the duration of the whole flight.

By providing computers Qatar has gone one step further than its Gulf carrier rivals in dealing with fallout from the ban. Etihad recently began offering free wifi and Ipads on its US flights from Abu Dhabi, while Emirates was the first to introduce a laptop handling service.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Akbar Al Baker, said: “As an award-winning and global airline we truly appreciate the importance of being able to work on board our aircraft, and that is why I have insisted on offering only the best possible solution for our customers.”

qatarairways.com

Qatar Airways Holidays designs travel package for Doha Jewellery and Watch Exhibition

Downtown Doha

Qatar Airways Holidays, a division of Qatar Airways has designed a package for the benefit of those attending Doha Jewellery and Watch Exhibition 2017 (DJWE).

The week-long exhibition, organised by Qatar Tourism Authority, will start on February 20 and end on February 25.

Unlike the Qatar Airways website/offices, Qatar Airways Holidays lets you check out only after you choose one from its list of hotels after selecting the flight. Other add-ons to the package include airport transfers, car rentals, and tours.

For DJWE Qatar Airways Holidays, apart from Visa assistance and hotel deals, there are 12 insurance policies, 11 tours and 24 car rental models to choose from. The ongoing offer is valid for stay in Doha from February 19-25.

Qatar Airways’ senior vice president of Commercial Middle East, Africa and Pakistan, Ehab Amin, says, “Qatar Airways Holidays is offering visitors to Doha complete travel packages at special prices, to ensure travellers enjoy visiting this international event and their opportunity to explore Doha. Visitors booking through Qatar Airways Holidays website will benefit from holiday extras such as early check-in and late check-out, airport shuttles and much more, all designed to make their travel as glamorous as the jewelry and watches they will discover at the fair.”

qatarairwaysholidays.com/DJWE  

Qatar Airways Holidays, a division of Qatar Airways has designed a package for the benefit of those attending Doha Jewellery and Watch Exhibition 2017 (DJWE).

The week-long exhibition, organised by Qatar Tourism Authority, will start on February 20 and end on February 25.

Unlike the Qatar Airways website/offices, Qatar Airways Holidays lets you check out only after you choose one from its list of hotels after selecting the flight. Other add-ons to the package include airport transfers, car rentals, and tours.

For DJWE Qatar Airways Holidays, apart from Visa assistance and hotel deals, there are 12 insurance policies, 11 tours and 24 car rental models to choose from. The ongoing offer is valid for stay in Doha from February 19-25.

Qatar Airways’ senior vice president of Commercial Middle East, Africa and Pakistan, Ehab Amin, says, “Qatar Airways Holidays is offering visitors to Doha complete travel packages at special prices, to ensure travellers enjoy visiting this international event and their opportunity to explore Doha. Visitors booking through Qatar Airways Holidays website will benefit from holiday extras such as early check-in and late check-out, airport shuttles and much more, all designed to make their travel as glamorous as the jewelry and watches they will discover at the fair.”

qatarairwaysholidays.com/DJWE  

Qatar Airways now accepting Unionpay cards

Qatar Airways now accepts Unionpay card payments on its website

Qatar Airways customers can now use Unionpay credit and debit cards when purchasing tickets and other items and services on the airline’s website.

A popular payment choice for the Chinese market, Unionpay has issued more than 5.8 billion cards worldwide and is accepted in 160 countries and regions. Customers will be able to use their Unionpay cards to purchase on the carrier’s website in a number of currencies, including: Chinese Yuan, Pound Sterling, Euro, US Dollar, Australian Dollar, Hong Kong Dollar, Japanese Yen, South Korean Won, Malaysian Ringgit, New Zealand Dollar, Singapore Dollar and Thai Baht.

“Our partnership with Unionpay International, one of the world’s most popular bank card issuers, provides our global customers with more flexible payment options when they choose to book with Qatar Airways,” said the airline’s chief executive, Akbar Al Baker.

The introduction of the new payment option follows the airline’s recent addition of an Apple Pay feature as a means of purchasing using Apple mobile devices. The carrier also recently launched digital membership cards for members of its loyalty programme, Privilege Club.

“We are tireless in our pursuit to provide the most secure and convenient options to travellers as we go places together,” Al Baker added.

qatarairways.com

Qatar Airways offering new business class promotion

Qatar Airways is offering customers reduced rates when booking two business class seats on flights from Hong Kong, as part of its Two Seats, One Great Offer deal. The offer runs until November 7, 2016 for travel between November 15, 2016 and June 15, 2017.

Travellers can book two business class tickets on flights from Hong Kong to Europe and Africa from HK$31,000, the Middle East from HK$35,700 and the Americas from HK$53,000, excluding taxes. Meanwhile, members of the carrier’s Privilege Club loyalty programme can earn double Qmiles on each booking upon registration made.

Paul Johannes, vice president North Asia for Qatar Airways, said: “In the lead up to the busy holiday season, when everyone has travel and family on their mind, Qatar Airways’ Two Seats, One Great Offer is a unique chance to treat a loved one to true luxury on board the World’s Best Business Class. We believe that travelling is more than just a journey from A to B, it is an experience and one that is best shared.”

The airline’s business class passengers are offered a dine-on-demand à la carte menu along with Bose noise-cancelling headphones, while travellers on long-haul flights are given Giorgio Armani Beauty and Fragrances amenity kits, which it unveiled in October.

qatarairways.com/hk

Qatar Airways poised to make large aircraft order

Qatar Airways A350XWB

Qatar Airways chief executive Akbar Al Baker has confirmed that the airline will place a “large” aircraft order “soon”.

The Gulf carrier currently has a backlog of more than 340 aircraft on order from both Airbus and Boeing, but is poised to add to this number very soon, reports Bloomberg.

“Qatar Airways has a continuous plan of fleet expansion and fleet replacement in order to keep the average age of our fleet very young,” said Al Baker, who declined to elaborate on the type of aircraft that Qatar Airways would be ordering.

However, given the difficult relationship that the airline currently has with Airbus – owing to the aircraft manufacturer’s inability to keep up with scheduled deliveries of the A350, as well as the ongoing engine cooling issues of the A320neo – it seems likely that Qatar Airways may turn to Boeing instead.

According to Al Baker, Airbus has so far failed to deliver five A350s to Qatar Airways. This has in turn hurt the airline’s expansion plans.

“Our relationship [with Airbus] is very strained,” said the chief executive. ““What’s happening at Airbus with the deliveries is seriously affecting our growth.”

For more information, visit qatarairways.com

Clement Huang

Five airline loyalty deals and notable changes in 2016

EMIRATES

DEAL Up to 5,000 bonus miles for new members of Emirates Skywards.

VALIDITY Ongoing.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS Fly within six months of joining Emirates Skywards, for travel on Emirates marketed and operated flights.

INFO It’s always depressing to stare at the “0” miles or points on a brand-new frequent flyer programme account. Luckily, Emirates is offering new members of its Skywards programme bonus miles once they travel on their first flight with the Gulf carrier. Those booked in economy will receive 2,500 miles upon completing their first flight, while passengers in business and first will receive 3,500 and 5,000 miles respectively.

emirates.com

 

QATAR AIRWAYS

DEAL Attractive fares and triple Qmiles for customers flying out of Hong Kong.

VALIDITY Travel valid between January 19 and December 15.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS Bookings until January 17, and triple Qmiles valid for bookings made through the Qatar Airways website. Book through the airline’s Hong Kong website and enter the Promo code “QRTFHK” to receive an extra 5 per cent discount.

INFO As part of its “Travel Festival” deal, Qatar Airways is offering a range of exclusively designed packages including discounts of up to 45 per cent, companion fare 2-for-1 tickets, family and group discounts, and triple Qmiles for bookings made through its official website. Visit qatarairways.com/hk/en/offers/travel-festival.page to learn more.

Destinations

Round trip in

Economy Class

Round trip in

Business Class

Europe

Athens, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Geneva, Milan, Moscow, Munich, Paris, Birmingham, London, Rome, and much more

HK$1,940 up

HK$18,620 up

Middle East

Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Oman, and much more

HK$2,820 up

HK$17,990 up

Africa

Casablanca, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Nairobi, Cairo, and much more

HK$3,010 up

HK$21,000 up

America and

South America

Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, New York, Washington, and much more

HK$4,930 up

HK$38,710 up

Indian Ocean

Maldives

HK$2,660 up

HK$17,450 up

qatarairways.com

 

UNITED AIRLINES

DEAL Status match challenge, which allows top-tier members of other frequent flyer programmes to receive equivalent status on United’s Mileage Plus.

VALIDITY Requests have to be made before March 31.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS Offer is not valid for members who have participated in the One Pass or Mileage Plus status match programme within the last five years.

INFO Members who choose to take up the challenge will have to first earn a certain number of Premier qualifying miles (PQM) or Premier qualifying segments (PQS) on flights operated by United or United Express within a 90-day period. The number of PQM or PQS that must be earned depends on the Premier status level that each individual is matched to in Mileage Plus. Applicants must also hold an existing tier level on another eligible frequent flyer programme.

Mileage Plus Premier status

PQM or PQS requirements

Premier Silver

Fly 7,000 PQM or 8 PQS on flights operated by United or United Express

Premier Gold

Fly 12,500 PQM or 15 PQS on flights operated by United or United Express

Premier Platinum

Fly 18,000 PQM or 22 PQS on flights operated by United or United Express

united.com

 

QANTAS AIRWAYS

DEAL Reduced points and surcharges for economy awards.

VALIDITY Ongoing.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS Applies for eligible return Qantas economy classic flight rewards that fall within zones 4-10 of its network. See here for the 2016 redemption table.

INFO The Flying Kangaroo has reduced the amount of Qantas Points and carrier charges required for selected flight rewards. The new scheme also applies to those by its partner airlines, including American Airlines, Emirates and Fiji Airways.

Example:

For bookings made on and from Jan 6, 2016:

For bookings made before
Jan 6, 2016:

Between:

Qantas Points

Charges

Qantas Points

Charges

Perth and Singapore

45,000

A$245.93

50,000

A$425.93

Brisbane and Hong Kong

56,000

A$290.66

60,000

A$336.66

Melbourne and Los Angeles

90,000

A$419.32

96,000

A$609.32

Sydney and London (Heathrow)

120,000

A$708.18

128,000

A$848.18

qantas.com.au

 

AMERICAN AIRLINES

DEAL Earn up to 50 per cent bonus miles when you purchase AAdvantage miles.

VALIDITY Until January 29.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS A minimum of 5,000 miles must be bought and members can only purchase up to 150,000 miles per year.

INFO Buy AAdvantage miles and receive up to 50 per cent more. Users must log into their AAdvantage accounts and visit the “Buy Miles” page. The more miles purchased, the higher the bonus rate. Do note that purchased miles do not contribute towards tier status.

Miles purchased

Bonus

Percentage of bonus miles

5,000 – 14,000

1,000

Up to 20 per cent

15,000 – 24,000

5,000

Up to 33.3 per cent

25,000 – 49,000

10,000

Up to 40 per cent

50,000 – 69,000

22,500

Up to 45 per cent

70,000 – 99,000

35,000

Up to 50 per cent

100,000 – 150,000

50,000

Up to 50 per cent

aa.com

Clement Huang

Qatar Airways’ focus on Greater China

Qatar Airways is ramping up efforts to increase its appeal to passengers across the Greater China region.

The carrier’s new six-times weekly B787-8 service from its hub in Doha, Qatar to Amsterdam launches on June 16. The new route is part of the carrier’s focus on the Greater China region, from where it now has 45 weekly flights to Doha and onwards to points as far afield as Africa, Europe and the US.

Speaking at an event in Hong Kong, Paul Johannes, Vice President North Asia for the airline, said onward traffic from China was increasing, and although established European destinations such as Paris and London were popular, so were destinations throughout Africa, as well as the US.

Qatar Airways has recently added Los Angeles, Boston and Atlanta to its list – all slated for first flights in 2016, see online news May 2015 here – in addition to the cities it already serves: Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Houston, Miami, New York, Philadelphia and Washington DC.

In Greater China, Qatar flies from Beijing, Chengdu, Chongqing, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Hong Kong and Shanghai. As reported on Business Traveller (see here) one of Qatar’s first actions on joining the oneworld airline alliance was to create a joint business with Cathay Pacific on the Hong Kong to Doha route. Each airline flies daily on the route, both with a two-class (economy and business) A330-200 (Cathay has withdrawn premium economy from this route).

Speaking to Business Traveller, Chan Cheong Eu, country manager, Greater China South, said that the aim of the joint business was to allow passengers to fly on either the Cathay Pacific flight to Doha or the Qatar Airways flight and enjoy all the privileges of being part of either the Marco Polo programme or Qatar Airways loyalty programme Privilege Club including use of Cathay’s lounges at Hong Kong International Airport. (See tried and tested review here).

Connection times for the summer schedule are as follows:

FromToFlightDepartureArrival
Hong KongDohaQR81501:2004:40
DohaAmsterdamQR27508:2014:00
AmsterdamDohaQR27616:1023:15
DohaHong KongQR5801*00:55+114:40+1

* This flight is a codeshare flight and is operated by Qatar’s oneworld partner, Cathay Pacific

Tom Otley

Qatar Airways takes delivery of world’s first A350

In front of a crowd of more than 150 international media, Qatar Airways celebrated the delivery of the world’s first Airbus A350 XWB aircraft.

The fuel-efficient airplane was originally slated to for delivery earlier this month, as reported by Business Traveller Asia-Pacific (see here), but the receiving ceremony was unexpectedly postponed.

Qatar Airway’s new Airbus A350 XWB

While both Qatar Airways and Airbus have not commented on the reason why delivery was postponed, rumours have circulated that the former chose to delay delivery due to the first A350 being heavier than promised – a factor that would negatively affect the fuel efficiency of the aircraft.

However, it appears that Qatar Airways is now satisfied with the delivered aircraft, as the airline hosted a press conference and delivery ceremony at Airbus’ headquarters in Toulouse.

Delivery ceremony press conference

Qatar Airways group chief executive Akbar Al Baker expressed pride that his company was the launch customer for the A350, and raved about the benefits of the new aircraft.

“As global launch customer for the A350 XWB, we are receiving the newest and most modern aircraft that the world will see for at least another decade,” said Al Baker.

Qatar Airways’ cabin crew

“With our significant order as launch customer for 80 of this aircraft type, it has enabled Airbus to create an aircraft that not only considers every aspect of passenger comfort, but also features the cutting-edge light-weight carbon composite design, which in turn allows fuel consumption and noise to be reduced, along with many other leading features”.

The A350 will begin active service in January 2015, when Qatar Airways deploys it on the Doha–Frankfurt route. It will feature a two-class configuration with 36 in business (1-2-1 layout), and 247 in economy (3-3-3 layout).

The world watches on – Airbus A350 XWB

Business Traveller Asia-Pacific will be visiting the Gulf carrier’s base in Doha next month to inspect the new aircraft. Stay tuned for our first look of the A350 XWB.

For more information, visit qatarairways.com

Clement Huang

Qatar Airways adds services to Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen

After launching a non-stop, four-flights-a-week service from Doha to Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen, located on the Asian side of the bi-continental Turkish city, on May 22, Qatar Airways has announced that it will upgrade the route to daily from October 26. The airline also flies to Istanbul Ataturk (the city’s other international airport, on the European side) 10 times a week and Turkey’s capital Ankara four times a week.

Details of the three additional Doha-Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen week flights are as follows:

Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays

QR243, departing Doha at 1410 to arrive at Sabiha at 1735

QR244, departing Sabiha at 1835 hrs to arrive in Doha at 2330

qatarairways.com