Qatar Airways was founded in 1993 but did not begin flights until 1994. The airline tapped Akbar Al Baker to be Group Chief Executive in 1997. He is credited with turning Qatar Airways into a five-star airline and a major force in commercial aviation.
By April 2011, Qatar Airways' route map reached a milestone of 100 destinations in its global route map. Since then, it's been named Airline of the Year in 2011 2012 and 2015. In October 2011, the airline took delivery of its 100th aircraft, and a month later at the Dubai Air Show, it placed firm orders and options on 90 aircraft, including 80 Airbus A320neos, eight A380 jumbo jets and two Boeing 777 freighters.
At the 2013 Dubai Air Show, Qatar ordered for more than 60 new aircraft – a mixture of Boeing 777X and Airbus A330 freighters. And a year later at the Farnborough Air Show, it placed an order for 100 Boeing 777X aircraft, taking its orders to more than 330 aircraft with a value of $70 billion. Qatar Airways then placed an order for 10 firm 777-8Xs and four firm 777 Freighters at the 2015 Paris Air Show, valued at $ 4.8 billion. It joined the Oneworld alliance in October 2013.
Qatar Airways placed second in the top 10 Skytrax 2016 World Airline Awards and also won for World’s Best Business Class, World’s Best Business Class lounge and Best Airline Staff in the Middle East. And in 2017, it was tapped as Skytrax's top airline, taking the award away from the Dubai-based Emirates. The airline also won in the categories for the World's Best Business Class, the World's Best First Class Lounge and the Best Airline in the Middle East.
The airline flies to more than 150 destinations, covering Europe, the Middle East, Africa, South Asia, Asia Pacific, North America, and South America out of its Doha International Airport hub. In 2010, it began building that global network to 10 new destinations including Bengaluru (Bangalore), Tokyo, Ankara, Copenhagen, Barcelona, Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, Phuket, Hanoi, and Nice.
In 2011, the airline another historic year for Qatar Airways saw the launch of flights to 15 destinations, focusing on expanding in Europe. The following year, it added flights to Baku (Azerbaijan), Tbilisi (Georgia), Zagreb (Croatia), Perth (Australia), Kigali (Rwanda), Kilimanjaro (Tanzania), Yangon (Myanmar), Baghdad (Iraq), Erbil (Iraq), Maputo (Mozambique), Belgrade (Serbia) and Warsaw (Poland).
In 2013, Qatar Airways added flights to Gassim (Saudi Arabia); Najaf (Iraq); Phnom Penh (Cambodia); Chicago; Salalah (Oman), Chengdu (China), Basra (Iraq), Sulaymaniyah (Iraq), Clark International (Philippines), Ta’if (Saudi Arabia), Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) and Hangzhou (China).
A year later, Qatar launched flights to Sharjah and Dubai World Central in the UAE, Philadelphia, Edinburgh (Scotland), Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen Airport (Turkey), Larnaca (Cyprus), Al Hofuf (Saudi Arabia), Miami, Dallas/Fort Worth, Djibouti (Djibouti) and Asmara (Eritrea) in Africa. In 2015, flights to Amsterdam, Zanzibar (Tanzania), Nagpur (India) and Durban (South Africa). In 2016, the airline has launched routes to Los Angeles, Ras Al Khaimah (UAE), Sydney, Boston, Birmingham (UK), Adelaide (Australia), Yerevan (Armenia) and Atlanta.