First and business class passengers on Qatar Airways will once again have their inflight meals served in style as the Gulf carrier brings its inflight service back to pre-pandemic levels.
Gone are the covered meals delivered on a single tray, with cutlery tucked away in a rolled napkin – moves made necessary driven by Covid health and safety protocols and the desire to minimise contact between crew and passengers.
Premium travellers on the Oneworld member’s five daily services betweeen Doha and London, and the thrice daily to Doha-Paris flights, are among the first to welcome back Qatar’s fine dining experience.
“Passengers will now be able to further enjoy Qatar Airways’ world-renowned in-flight services onboard our flights between Doha, London and Paris with more destinations to follow,” said airline CEO, His Excellency Akbar Al Baker.
The airline says its dining service will be restored to “business as usual across the entire network starting January 2022.”
Passengers on Qatar’s Airbus A380s will also cheer the news that the superjumbo’s elegant lounge – previously closed due to social distancing restrictions – is also open.
This spacious upper deck lounge has always been a great way to spend some of your journey, relaxing with snacks and drinks from the bar while chatting with fellow high flyers or just settling back with a book or magazine.
Qatar Airways’ Australian network currently includes Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth, with all cities seeing the airline’s private business class Qsuites which offer a fully private experience in a well-appointed cocoon with its own doors and a ‘dine on demand’ menu.
“The only thing we do is to (follow) Covid protocols, because we are still not out of the woods... for example, wearing a mask when you’re sitting on your seat and not eating, or if you're moving around the aisles,” Al Baker told Executive Traveller in October.
However, Al Baker indicated that masking rules are relaxed in the high-walled private Qsuites because “you are already isolated in the Qsuite.”
“When you are in a Qsuite, you are fully enclosed, so then you don’t need to really wear a mask when you’re sitting.”
The airline also hopes to permanently add Brisbane to its extensive network, based in part on the airline’s ongoing support of flights to and from Australia throughout the pandemic.
The Gulf carrier’s flights between Doha and Brisbane have been operating on a temporary basis, but the airline has requested this be switched to a permanent arrangement allowing daily flights to the Queensland capital.
“I hope that the government will rethink the request of Qatar Airways, keeping in mind that we were the only foreign carrier that was dedicated, even at a time that we were making losses on the route, to keep on connecting Australia to the outside world,” Al Baker tells Executive Traveller.
“Even though there were capacity restrictions and frequency restrictions, we continued our operations to serve the people of Australia, so our commitment was there not only in good times but also in bad times.”
Additional reporting by David Flynn