Airlines in the Middle East witnessed a 265% rise in demand in April 2022, as compared to the previous year, signaling a post-pandemic surge in air travel. Qatar will see a further increase in tourists since the FIFA World Cup is expected to attract almost 1.5 million fans, equivalent to nearly half of its population.
But even before the influx of football fans into the country, Qatar Airways has posted $1.5 billion in profits, which is the highest ever for the national carrier. The airline witnessed a 78% surge in revenues compared to last year, a major turnaround for the airline hit by a $4.1 billion loss during the pandemic. Due to accelerated surface degradation below the paint, the grounding of its Airbus 350 and Airbus 380 aircraft was yet another setback for Qatar Airways.
After the losses, the Qatari government injected $3 billion to keep its flagship airline afloat during turbulent times. Its main competitor in the region, Emirates, also received a $1.5 billion lease of life from Dubai’s government to survive the pandemic.
Successful vaccination campaigns in different parts of the world are also cited as a reason for the uptick in airline passenger traffic. Qatar Airways attributes the earnings to expanding passenger and cargo networks during the pandemic.
Also, read how Qatar expects 34-36 million air passengers in 2022 here.
The 25-year-old airline, which flies to 140 destinations globally, also enjoys popularity among football fans by appearing on jerseys of clubs such as Bayern Munich and Paris Saint Germain, and Barcelona before that.
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