The FINANCIAL — Qatar Airways is the first airline in the Middle East to achieve platinum status in the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA’s) Fast Travel Program in recognition of its success with using innovative technology to provide passengers with quick and convenient air travel. Qatar Airways Executive Vice President, Mr. Mohsen Alyafei, received the accolade on behalf of the airline’s Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker today, from IATA’s Director Passenger, Pierre Charbonneau, at Marsa Malaz Kempinski, The Pearl, where the airline is hosting the Passenger Experience Management Group.
The airline met IATA’s highest Fast Travel standard by implementing self-service systems that address worldwide passenger demands for more choice, convenience, and control over their travel experience. Qatar Airways uses new technologies, from kiosks to mobile apps, to offer a range of self-serve channels enabling passengers to check-in, print Q-tag baggage labels at home and access quick bag drop facilities worldwide, scan their own travel documents, re-book flights, self-board and report missing bags online, according to Qatar Airways.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, H.E. Mr. Al Baker, said: “Qatar Airways is the first airline in the Middle East to achieve IATA’s platinum accolade, and only the sixth airline in the world to accomplish this high-level standard since the Fast Travel Program’s foundation. This is a significant achievement for the airline and furthers our ambition to redefine the passenger experience.
“Passenger needs are at the heart of our service design, and we want to provide all of our guests with the very best travel experience. For those passengers who are comfortable using technology, Qatar Airways has provided the opportunity to self-serve, giving them the control and flexibility that they desire throughout their journey with us.”
The airline industry’s Fast Travel initiative comprises of six criteria and three standards; green, gold and platinum. Qatar Airways has achieved platinum status for offering various self-service facilities to more than 80 per cent of its passengers travelling through its state-of-the-art hub, Hamad International Airport, and across its global network. In 2014 Qatar Airways received the Fast Travel green status for streamlining its travel processes, and became the first airline in the region to enable passengers to print baggage tags at home.
IATA’s Senior Vice President for Airport, Passenger, Cargo and Security, Mr. Nick Careen, said: “Qatar Airways’ ongoing efforts and innovative solutions mean that more than 80 per cent of its passengers are now offered solutions that enable them to manage their own journey. According to industry surveys, over 50 per cent of passengers want to speed up their air travel experience and around 75 per cent of passengers worldwide want more self-service options. Ultimately, by providing more choice and more control for passengers, airlines can achieve lower costs and billions of dollars in annual savings for the industry.”