The Doha-based carrier pulled out all the stops, deploying it is special retro-liveried Boeing 777 on the flight.
Next year will mark 30 years since Qatar Airways was formed, but yesterday saw a more current anniversary being celebrated. Especially, March 30th, 2022, marked a quarter of a century since the Doha-based Oneworld member first flew to London Heathrow, on the same day in 1997.
The airline put on a show with the anniversary service, with aspects such as a water cannon salute and a specially-curated menu.
25 years of flights between Qatar and the UK
Qatar Airways flight QR7 operates daily between Doha Hamad International (DOH) and London Heathrow Airport. While the service is a very common aspect of the airline’s day-to-day operations, yesterday’s iteration was more special than most. This is because the revered Middle Eastern carrier operated it to celebrate 25 years of flights between Qatar and the UK.
March 30th, 1997 saw Qatar Airways work its first-ever scheduled service between Doha and London, operating an Airbus A300-600R. This took area just over three years after the airline’s formation, since which time it has become one of the world’s most connected carriers. Leveraging its convenient location for connections, Qatar Airways now flies over 50 UK flights a week, of which Heathrow serves 35.
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According to data from FlightRadar24.com, the service left Doha almost an hour and a half late, at 09:12 vs a scheduled departure time of 07:40. Nonetheless, it made good time en route and connected down just over an hour late at 13:52 (scheduled 12:45). Upon coming, the flight was welcomed with a water cannon salute. A7-BAC, a retro-livered Boeing 777-300ER, worked the special service.
Qatar Airways’ services between Doha and London
- Looking at how Qatar Airways’ services between Doha and London (and indeed the UK as a whole) have grown over the last quarter of a century, yesterday’s anniversary was certainly worthy of a celebration. Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye stated:
“We want to congratulate Qatar Airways on a quarter of a century of linking London and Doha through Heathrow, the UK’s only hub airport. By working together with partners like Qatar Airways, we can maintain and build on the UK’s vital connections to key cities around the world, for the benefit of passengers and businesses.”
Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker echoed Holland-Kaye’s delight at the anniversary, while also looking to the future. He said that:
The last 25 years have seen us develop from a small airline to one of the biggest in the world. (…) London was an important first step in our journey; it stays a cornerstone of our international network today. This milestone also showcases Qatar’s exceptional connection with the UK, and we look ahead to our next 25 years.”
Qatar put a lot of effort into the theming of the anniversary
As expected for such a highly-regarded airline, Qatar Airways put a lot of effort into the theming of the anniversary flight. As mentioned before, the service was greeted in London with a water cannon salute. However, the celebrations were long since underway by that point, with a British-themed menu having been served.
Qatar Airways explains that its premium passengers enjoyed “famous English dishes including Sunday roast with Yorkshire pudding, beef pie, fish and chips with mushy peas and strawberry trifle.” Meanwhile, economy passengers were treated to “shepherd’s pie, Sunday roast chicken, sausage rolls and trifle for dessert.”
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