Dining: Qatar Airways has yet again, gone above and beyond to try and create a truly unique product to compete with it’s slightly larger Middle Eastern counterparts. Four International chefs have been drafted in to enhance and develop their First Class and Business Class menu offerings flying from Doha in Qatar. The award-winning Chef Ramzi Choueiri, Chef Vineet Bhatia, Chef Tom Aikens and Chef Nobu Matsuhisa all have created an entirely new inflight dining experience.
Speaking in Doha, Chef Nobu explained the philosophy behind his cuisine. “I want to see those sampling my dishes eat, smile and laugh. To me this is happiness. Qatar Airways understands my philosophy. Working with Qatar Airways is an exciting experience and I look forward to having my food served onboard a 5-star airline that cares about the product and the service. Meals and dining are an important part of flying and it is an exciting new challenge to adapt my food to the service aboard their superb aircraft.”
Whilst they have not completely changed their menus, the ‘Signature dishes’ are being created to ‘satisfy the tastes of the airline’s discerning passengers.’ So you can expect to see some of the gourmet offerings on the flights, rotating between the four celebrity chefs. dependant on the routes you are flying. Whether the dishes created will be able to be replicated at height by staff without training in ovens with two temperature settings and limited tools will be a challenge, and will hold judgement until reviews come out from passengers on their experience.
Routes: Surprisingly, at least to myself, Qatar have been launching routes at a phenomenal rate, what is more interesting is the fact they are launching to destinations perhaps off the radar of their larger counterparts such as Emirates. Since the beginning of 2012, Qatar Airways has launched flights to Baku (Azerbaijan); Tbilisi (Georgia); Kigali (Rwanda); Zagreb (Croatia), Erbil (Iraq), Baghdad (Iraq), Perth (Australia) and Kilimanjaro (Tanzania). But it doesn’t stop there! Over the next few months, Qatar Airways will launch services to a diverse portfolio of new routes, including Yangon, Myanmar (October 3); Maputo, Mozambique (October 31); Belgrade, Serbia (November 20); Warsaw, Poland (December 5); Gassim, Saudi Arabia (7 January 2013); and Chicago, USA (10 April 2013).
Then again, with a fleet, planned to grow up to 250 aircraft, including the launch of their new 787, Qatar will need to continue to expand their route network even further!