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CATHERINE W GICHUKI
DOHA
Qatar Airways has partnered with four GCC carriers -- to bring football fans based in Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the UAE on the Match Day Shuttle Flights during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
Qatar Airways has tied up with flydubai, Kuwait Airways, Oman Air and Saudia to connect match ticket holders to Doha via Match Day Shuttle flights for 24-hour experiences, during the tournament period.
All these shuttles, for a seamless travel experience will operate from the Doha International Airport, which is fully furbished and ready to take these large volumes of people with seamless immigration experiences.
This revelation was made at a press conference where the new partnership between the GCC carriers was sealed with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) involving Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker; Eng. Yasir Al Jamal, Director General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy; Ghaith Al Ghaith, Chief Executive Officer at flydubai; Chief Executive Officer of Kuwait Airways Eng. Maen Mahmoud Razouqi; Oman Air Chief Executive Officer, Abdulaziz Al Raisi; and Saudia Chief Executive Officer, Captain Ibrahim S. Koshy.
Speaking at the press conference, Al Baker said that Qatar’s vision was that the tournament is for the entire region and together they had the opportunity to share the best of their culture and traditions with fans across the globe.
He explained that Match Day Shuttle tickets will kick-off at extremely competitive prices along with rotating frequencies from Dubai, Jeddah, Kuwait City, Muscat and Riyadh.
flydubai will offer a total of 60 flights per day from Dubai to Doha with 30 rotations bringing up to 2,700 fans per day; Kuwait Airways will have 20 flights and 10 rotations per day from Kuwait City to Doha bringing up to 1,700 fans; Oman Air will have 48 flights per day and 24 rotations from Muscat bring up to 3,400 fans while Saudia will operate a total of 40 flights and 20 rotations per day from Riyadh and Jeddah bringing up to 5,000 fans to Doha.
“This is besides the scheduled flights that these airlines will continue to fly at Hamad International Airport. There will be additional airlines that will be hosted together with our joint partners and the aim is to make the fan experience as seamless as possible so everyone can enjoy the World Cup,” said Al Baker.
There will be additional flights by Air Arabia and Etihad, he added.
Passengers who book one of the Match Day Shuttle services will benefit from a smooth journey which includes dedicated on-ground transportation between the airport and stadium.
By choosing to book a Match Day Shuttle flight, fans will arrive in the morning and depart in the evening, with no hotel accommodation required. Additionally, a no check-in baggage policy will simplify an easy-in, easy-out travel itinerary for the passengers. “Flights will be scheduled to arrive five hours before the match so that fans can enjoy the city without a rush and after the match fans will have plenty of time before boarding their flight back,” said Al Baker.
Al Baker explained that these shuttle services will allow fans staying in Qatar to get a chance to visit other destinations in the region bridging their cultures and allowing them to experience what the Arabian hospitality has to offer.
Fans are invited to visit qatarairways.com/MatchDayShuttle and the partner airlines’ websites to learn more and secure their flights. Qatar Airways will also be adding more Match Day Shuttle flights across the GCC in the future, as well as flying in football fans from around the world on its extensive global network.
Regarding the partnership, Al Baker further said, “Connecting fans and a shared love for football are at the heart of this game-changing partnership. We are immensely privileged to have the opportunity to unite fans from all walks of life to enjoy the beautiful game at its best, while introducing them to our hospitable culture and traditions. The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will be the first in the Middle East and Arab world, and we have always believed that a win for Qatar is a win for the region.”
Al Baker added, “The landscape of this tournament gives us the opportunity to spread the business with various regional airlines. Our combined bandwidth with flydubai, Kuwait Airways, Oman Air and Saudia will create travel flexibility that will bridge cultures and give fans the chance to explore multiple places in the Middle-East.”
Eng. Yasir Al Jamal, Director General of the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy, said: “Right from the start, we have said Qatar 2022 is a FIFA World Cup for the entire region – and the announcement of the Match Day Shuttle service will make it even easier for many thousands of fans to be able to attend the first tournament in the Middle East and Arab world.”
“Our digital Hayya (Fan ID) will enable a seamless fan journey for those visiting for the tournament, and with the amazing opportunity of attending more than one match in a day, we look forward to welcoming fans from across the region as they immerse themselves in the exciting football and enjoy our famous hospitality. Our sincere thanks to Qatar Airways and their partners for delivering this special project, which will help us host a memorable and outstanding edition of the FIFA World Cup,” he added.
Ghaith Al Ghaith, Chief Executive Officer at flydubai, said, “We are very pleased to be part of this game-changing partnership with Qatar Airways and the other partner GCC national carriers. This will allow us to welcome more football fans and visitors from all over the world to experience the warm hospitality and rich culture of our region. Having recently hosted a global event in Dubai, we know first-hand the positive impact such events have not only on the travel and hospitality sectors, but also on the wider economy and the overall morale.”
Oman Air Chief Executive Officer Abdulaziz Al Raisi said,“We’re immensely proud to join our partners as we connect football fans to the sport they love and enhance their experience with convenient and seamless travel options tailored to busy schedules. Match Day Shuttle flights are a great way for fans to see more of the rich and vibrant cultures that abound in the region.”
Saudia Chief Executive Officer Captain Ibrahim S Koshy said, “Saudi Arabian Airlines is pleased to be offering flights from two main gateways, Riyadh and Jeddah, for fans to conveniently travel to attend the highly-anticipated FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. Through the spirit of sport, we look forward to welcoming guests from around the world to visit the region and experience the signature Saudi hospitality onboard, in addition to exploring a unique culture and heritage.”
In September 2021, Qatar Airways launched unique travel packages, inclusive of match tickets, return flights and accommodation options. Fans can guarantee their match tickets to support their favourite team during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 by visiting qatarairways.com/FIFA2022.Shuttle services will provide fans a convenient 24-hour experience
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27/05/2022
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