Qatar keeps its five-star promise

Qatar Airways has opened a US $90 million premium class terminal, dedicated to first and business class passengers only, at Doha International Airport.

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By  Gemma Greenwood Published  December 14, 2006

Qatar Airways has opened a US $90 million premium class terminal, dedicated to first and business class passengers only, at Doha International Airport. Highlights of the new terminal, which is being managed by Qatar Airways, include self-service check-in kiosks for passengers with hand baggage, e-gates to speed up immigration processes, a 1000m² duty-free shopping area, a business centre with secretarial services, free internet access, a children’s play area, and a spa, Jacuzzi and sauna. First and business class passengers each have their own check-in desks, as well as individual lounges, each with their own dining area. A separate recreation area for maids and children travelling on the same flight as these passengers, but in economy class, has also been incorporated. According to Qatar Airways’ CEO, Akbar Al Baker, the new terminal is a global first and justifies Qatar Airways’ new status as one of only four airlines in the world to achieve five-star ranking. However, it is only a temporary measure until the $200 million expansion of the current airport is completed. “We will demolish it (the new terminal) because there is an urban development plan in place for this entire area covering 20 square kilometres and comprising a residential, commercial and business district,” Al Baker told ATN at the media preview of the new premium class terminal. “This is just a temporary measure for the next three years. We are a five-star airline so everything we offer has to be five-star.” Al Baker said the airline was targeting 8.2 million passengers in the current financial year, which ends on March 31, and that he anticipated a “huge influx” of premium guests. This has been aided by the recent delivery of Qatar Airways’ first Airbus A340-600 aircraft, the world’s longest passenger jet, which boasts eight first class and 42 business class seats. Standout features include an onboard first class lounge, electronically operated window shades and a stand-up bar with drinks rack and spotlight mood lighting. The airline, which currently boasts a 51-strong fleet, has ordered 10 A340-600 aircraft, which will be delivered over the next two years.

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