Qatar Airways have cemented their place as the ‘Best Carrier’ of the annual World Airline Awards for the fourth time, and with the changes they’re making we can’t see what could knock them from that position that anytime soon. Their award-winning in-flight entertainment system Oryx One has begun offering a staggering 920 hours of incredible movies and TV shows, which means that to watch everything you would have to be watching continuously while they flew around the earth 20 times.
With 106 box sets, and plenty of collections and branded channels, there are around 4,000 entertainment options available. As well as the latest blockbuster films, they also have TV box sets, film collections, music and games as well as children’s channels, branded channels and informative programming including TED Talks and documentaries.
Their film collections include classics like the Hitchcock Collection that features a range of films from the incredible Alfred Hitchcock, as well as family favourites like the Star Wars trilogies and the Toy Story collection. Qatar Airways’ available box sets include Westworld, NCIS and comedies like the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Futurama.
As well as English-speaking film and box sets, Qatar Airways try to appeal to their Arabic-speaking passengers with their box sets including top Turkish drama Sultana Qusam and popular comedy Yawmeyat Zawja Mafrousa Awi. They also include several European shows like Black Widows from Norway and No. 309 from Turkey.
Qatar Airways are celebrating 20 years of flying as well as being one of the fastest-growing airlines that are currently operating a great fleet. They have over 200 aircraft that are currently reaching more than 150 worldwide locations. Their reach to important business and leisure destinations across six continents show their growing influence around the world, as they continue to provide award-winning service. And they clearly plan to expand their influence, as they are launching 26 new destinations before the end of 2018, with exciting locations in places like Thailand, Brazil, the US and Chile.
All of this is even more impressive considering the multiple controversies that have surrounded the airline in the past few years. In this year alone Qatar Airways have faced trouble since their aircraft has been banned from entering air space over several of their neighbouring countries including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Bahrain, meaning that a significant number of aircraft and destinations had to be edited or cancelled to make sure that they weren’t seen as invading the air space after the countries implemented the ban. These countries have accused Qatar of destabilizing the security of the region by supporting terrorist groups including the Muslim Brotherhood and ISIS. With countries like Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi being some of Qatar’s biggest markets, this move has shown a deep trouble between the countries and a problematic atmosphere for not only the airline but the country itself.
Many short-haul aircraft found themselves grounded as they could no longer make their journeys between these countries, which ended up coming in handy when British Airways airline staff began their strike action at the beginning of summer, as many flights were left severely missing staff. As their partner company, Qatar Airways agreed to wet lease their grounded aircraft to British Airways to ensure that their flights could still take place – a lease that included all of the airline staff and pilots as well as the planes themselves. Many striking British Airways staff argued against this move, as they were opposed to the use of Qatar Airways due to a significant amount of controversy following the airline concerning its treatment of female staff members.
In 2015, Qatar Airways decided to relax their policy that allowed them to sack any female staff members who got pregnant or married within their first 5 years of working with the airline, meaning that instead of termination pregnant staff members would instead be temporarily placed on ground positions and that women were allowed to get married as long as they informed the company beforehand. These sexist policies lightened up on an already controversial policy, but haven’t exactly tackled the problem that the airline seems to think it can control the actions of its female staff. There was no change to their policy that insisted female staff couldn’t enter any company spaces accompanied by a man who was not her father, husband or brother, and considering the degrading and sexist way the airline’s CEO spoke about American flight attendants – comparing the average age of his employees (26) to the “crap” US airlines that allowed ‘grandmothers’ to serve customers – there is no surprise that many people are still insulted and disgusted by the prevalence and success of the airline, despite its many awards and luxury flights.