Cape Town Photos by Rayno Snyman
Qatar Airways welcomed a nostalgic flashback to its early days of operation with the delivery of a Boeing 777-300 aircraft painted in the award-winning airline’s retro livery design as part of its 25th-anniversary celebrations. The Aircraft caused quite a stir amongst the South African plane spotting fraternity when it landed a Cape Town International on 21 February.
The aircraft made its retro livery début operating as Flight QR 0041 from Hamad International Airport (HIA), Doha, to Charles de Gaulle Airport, Paris and will become a familiar sight on a variety of other Qatar Airways routes over the coming 12 months, celebrating 25 years of excellence for the award-winning airline during its milestone year.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr Akbar Al Baker, said: “We are tremendously excited to celebrate our 25th anniversary by introducing this unique aircraft to our fleet. We hope this retro design will bring many memories of travel to our passengers, especially those who experienced travelling with us in our early years. This livery marks the milestone of how far we have come as the national carrier, evolving into a six-time World’s Best Airline winner. As we look forward, this is a year of endless possibilities for the entire Qatar Airways Group family, with several important landmark events and celebrations planned across this period. Not least of which is the much-anticipated FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ where the eyes of the world will be turned in our direction. We will continue to shine and share our success with those who are at the heart of everything we do – our millions of loyal passengers around the globe.”
As the world’s fastest-growing global airline, with one of the youngest, most technologically-advanced fleet of aircraft in the skies to date, Qatar Airways has undergone a dramatic transformation since its creation as a small regional carrier serving a small number of destinations in 1997, into one of the world’s leading global airlines.
The national carrier for the State of Qatar, part of the Qatar Airways Group, now stands at the forefront of the commercial aviation industry, connecting Doha to more than 140 destinations across six continents via the ‘World’s Best Airport’, it's home and hub, Hamad International Airport (HIA).
A multiple award-winning airline, Qatar Airways was announced as the ‘Airline of the Year’ at the 2021 World Airline Awards, managed by the international air transport rating organisation, Skytrax. It was also named "World’s Best Business Class", "World’s Best Business Class Airline Lounge", "World’s Best Business Class Airline Seat", "World’s Best Business Class Onboard Catering" and "Best Airline in the Middle East". The airline continues to stand alone at the top of the industry having won the main prize for an unprecedented sixth time (2011, 2012, 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2021).
Qatar Airways has also become the first global airline in the world to achieve the prestigious 5-Star COVID-19 Airline Safety Rating by Skytrax. This follows the success of HIA as the first airport in the Middle East and Asia to be awarded a Skytrax 5-Star COVID-19 Airport Safety Rating. These awards provide assurance to passengers across the world that the airline’s health and safety measures are subject to the highest possible standards of professional, independent scrutiny and assessment.