Doha, QATAR - As Qatar Airways prepares for its historic launch of scheduled flights to the United States this summer, the airline's Privilege Club frequent flyer programme has been honoured by scooping an unprecedented eight accolades at the annual Freddie Awards in America.
More than 450,000 frequent flyers cast their votes in numerous categories covering the airline, hotel and car rental industry. Named after the airline industry veteran, the late Sir Freddie Laker, the awards represent excellence in frequent travel programmes.
Qatar Airways' honours included the highlight of the evening, being voted for having the Loyalty Programme of the Year in Europe, Middle East and Africa region. The awards were held at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Virginia, with more than 300 guests present, including travel industry personnel and frequent flyers.
The accolades cap a great few months for Qatar Airways' Privilege Club, which recently won the Frequent Flyer Programme Innovation Gold Award in Vancouver.
The full winning list for Qatar Airways at the 2007 Freddie Awards is:
- Programme of the Year Europe, Middle East and Africa
- Best Newsletter and Communications, Europe, Middle East and Africa
- Best Newsletter and Communications, Asia Pacific
- Best Website, Asia Pacific
- Best Customer Service, Asia Pacific
- Best Customer Service, Europe, Middle East and Africa
- Best Award Redemption, Europe, Middle East and Africa
- Best Elite Level Programme, Europe, Middle East and Africa
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker expressed his delight at the latest awards, coming at an historic time for the airline as it prepares its entry into the US market this summer.
"For an airline that has not yet even started flying to the USA, being recognised with these awards is true recognition of Qatar Airways' position as a quality, international airline in a highly competitive market where frequent flyers are savvy travellers," he said.
"On behalf of Privilege Club, these accolades awarded to Qatar Airways demonstrate the hard work and dedication by our staff in making our loyalty programme one of choice for frequent flyers.
"We recognise that frequent travellers spend a lot of time on the road and in the air and I wish to offer my sincere thanks to voters for endorsing Qatar Airways and our Privilege Club.
"We already have a good database of Privilege Club members in the United States, which we expect will grow significantly over the next few weeks and months as we step up our activities to promote our new flights to the United States this summer."
Qatar Airways launches four flights a week between its operational hub of Doha, capital of the State of Qatar, and New York on June 26, followed by non-stop daily flights from Doha to Washington DC beginning July 19. The airline currently serves 75 destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Indian Subcontinent and Far East from Doha.
Added Al Baker: "Our Five Star service is renowned worldwide and we are extremely delighted to widen our reach to the United States and offer the travelling public a long-awaited service between the Middle East and US east coast.
"Qatar Airways will be the first airline from the Middle East to serve Washington DC and Newark Liberty International Airport, the gateway to New York City. Both cities promise to be key selling destinations for Qatar Airways."
Al Baker said that flights to the United States were an historic move for Qatar Airways in a year, which has seen the airline already launch services to Dar es Salaam, Lagos, Chennai, Bali and Ho Chi Minh City.
Senior Manager Loyalty Iain Webster said the latest awards reflected the amount of work Qatar Airways Privilege Club had put into relaunching its programme to become one of choice.
"It is gratifying to receive such overwhelming support from frequent flyers, especially as we recently relaunched Privilege Club and redeveloped our website where members are able to access their accounts and redeem Qmiles for flight awards on-line.
"Qatar Airways Privilege Club has made great strides over the past few years with new benefits and features for our members. We are also proud to have introduced the world's first self-service frequent flyer recruitment kiosk at Doha International Airport, where new members can enrol and receive their membership card within minutes."
Doha-based Qatar Airways will operate a fleet of 110 aircraft by 2013 – almost double the existing size. Qatar Airways has ordered 80 Airbus A350s, 60 Boeing 787s and 32 Boeing 777s, with deliveries of the latter having started in November 2007. The airline is a launch customer of the twin-deck Airbus A380 ‘super jumbos’ with five aircraft on order and scheduled for delivery from 2010. Qatar Airways moves to the New Doha International Airport in 2010, when the first phase of the new facility opens. For more information, visit www.ndiaproject.com
Qatar Airways is one of only six airlines in the world with a Five Star ranking for service and excellence awarded by Skytrax, the independent aviation industry monitoring agency. Skytrax also named Qatar Airways’ cabin crew as Best in the Middle East for the fifth year running in 2007 following a survey of more than 15 million passengers worldwide. For more information, log onto www.qatarairways.com
Qatar Airways Corporate Communications
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