Goodwood, UNITED KINGDOM – Qatar Airways took its award-winning Five Star hospitality to the annual Goodwood Festival of Speed with three fun-filled days of celebration over the weekend.
The Doha-based carrier was a first time sponsor of the British event, attracting thousands of visitors to its special trackside hospitality enclosure.
Celebrities from the world of entertainment and sport, past and present, joined in the glitz and glamour of the festivities, enjoying the thrills and spills of motorsport of the bygone and current era. Motor sport legends rubbed shoulders with stars of the modern track.
Goodwood, near Chichester in West Sussex, hosts the annual Festival of Speed, which is seen as the world’s biggest and most diverse celebration of the history of motor sport and car culture, now in its 17th year.
Speaking of the event, Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said: “The Goodwood Festival of Speed is arguably one of the best sporting occasions on the social circuit and Qatar Airways was proud to be associated with this prestigious event.
“Qatar Airways was delighted to partner with Goodwood for such a high-profile three days of wonderful entertainment, attracting visitors to our sponsors’ enclosure, where they had an opportunity to experience our award-winning hospitality.”
Qatar Airways branded the sponsors’ enclosure at Goodwood, hosting invited guests, including frequent travellers and potential customers, with 11 of the airline’s flight attendants on duty. Numerous high-profile visitors were hosted in the Qatar Airways sponsors’ enclosure and other sponsors included Dunhill, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Cartier.
Festival of Speed founder, Lord March said: “We absolutely run this event on attention to detail and we believe that Qatar Airways, with their high levels of service and their quality brand, have been a superb partner delivering Five Star hospitality in our sponsors’ enclosure."
The world famous annual motor racing festival, held between July 3–5, is a prestigious occasion in the British social calendar, ranked equally with events including Ascot, Henley Regatta and Wimbledon. The event is held in the picturesque surroundings of Goodwood House.
Goodwood Festival of Speed is the only occasion, where visitors have the opportunity to see the greatest competition of cars and star drivers from all eras in action: everything from 19th century steam carriages to current Formula One; fabulous racing motorcycles; classic rally cars to 3000bhp dragsters; plus motor racing legends like Sir Sterling Moss and today's hottest racing properties such as Formula One stars, Britain’s world champion Lewis Hamilton and current championship leader Jenson Button.
Moss and Hamilton drove the hill climb course at Goodwood, along with Lord March and British driver Peter Hardman, who drove the DBR 1 Aston Martin that won the Le Mans 24-hour race in 1959.
Veteran Goodwood sponsor Jaguar’s Theo Rumham added: “This is our sixth year at the Goodwood Festival of Speed and the hospitality this year offered by Qatar Airways in the sponsors’ lounge has been by far the best."
Qatar Airways guest Steve Allen, Managing Director of Wexas The Travellers Club, said it was a thoroughly enjoyable occasion: "This has been a very classy event and a great brand fit for Qatar Airways. We have enjoyed a fabulous day."
Jackie Lacey, of P&P Associates said: "This event has been a real success and a great opportunity for Qatar Airways to raise its profile and show the Five Star service they offer to a prestigious audience. It’s been a glorious English summer and we've really enjoyed it, we'll definitely come back."
There was similar feedback from fellow guest Ruth Pagnell-Jacquard, marketing manager at BP, who said: “The Qatar Airways sponsored enclosure was a great surprise. If the idea was to showcase Qatar Airways hospitality, they have definitely succeeded.”
Added Paul Johannes, Qatar Airways Senior Manager Europe: “This event has given us the opportunity to allow guests who may not be familiar with Qatar Airways to experience first hand our onboard hospitality and find out more about the airline and its diverse international network.
“Goodwood allowed us to introduce the Qatar Airways brand to a new audience and raise awareness about our network of over 80 destinations worldwide.”
Qatar Airways currently operates a modern fleet of 68 aircraft to 82 key business and leisure cities across Europe, Middle East, Africa, South Asia, Far East and North America.
Over the next nine months, Qatar Airways will expand its global operations with the launch of 6 new routes – Amritsar (October 11) and Goa (October 25) in India; Melbourne (December 6) and Sydney (date to be confirmed); and two further cities in Europe
Qatar Airways’ Economy Class has been voted Best in the World in the annual Skytrax passenger survey, in which more than 16 million travellers were polled. Ranked Five Star for service and excellence by Skytrax, the independent aviation industry monitoring agency also voted Qatar Airways’ cabin crew Best in the Middle East for the seventh year running in 2009 and Best Airline in the Middle East for the fourth consecutive year. For more information, log onto www.qatarairways.com
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 one of the customers of the twin-deck Airbus A380 ‘super jumbos’ with five on order and scheduled for delivery from 2012, by which the New Doha International Airport is expected to be open. For more information, visit www.ndiaproject.com
Qatar Airways Corporate Communications
Tel: +974 4496956, Fax: +974 4620132