In Dialog With Eric Odone Vice President

Eric Odone, is the Vice President – Europe at Qatar Airways. With in depth expertise within the worldwide aviation sector, Eric is a dynamic and artistic chief and locations nice worth on buyer expertise and crew growth. On this interview, he tells us extra about Qatar’s flagship product, the Qsuite, together with different information and insights from the award-winning airline.

Please inform us extra about your flagship product, the Qsuite, and your industry-leading business-class service. What can passengers count on? 

Qatar Airways’ award-winning Qsuite, merely put, affords spacious and elegantly designed personal suites with distinctive service and gourmand, restaurant-quality eating. The Qsuite ensures passengers arrive at their vacation spot feeling relaxed and able to embrace the vacation spirit. It wins many international awards time and time once more, together with from Skytrax, Enterprise Traveller and the World Traveller Awards. 

The Qsuite is about extra than simply the extraordinarily comfy and spacious lie-flat seat (though additionally it is a key promoting level); Ambient lighting helps to create a chilled environment to regulate to completely different time zones; There’s further area and privateness, preferrred for work, rest, or upscale eating; A gourmand eating menu with solely recent elements and the flexibility to dine on demand makes you are feeling such as you’re in a prime restaurant; and luxurious amenity kits from Diptyque and The White Firm offer you a five-star lodge really feel. Onboard Wi-Fi is on the market on chosen plane to remain related and there are as much as 6,000 choices on our inflight leisure system, Oryx One, for infinite leisure. 

Learn our evaluation of Qsuite right here

On a private notice, my favorite little touches on Qatar Airways’ Enterprise Class must be the scrumptious lime and mint signature welcome drink and eating by candlelight – battery operated, in fact. 

Are you able to inform us extra about your Enterprise and First Class providers at Hamad Worldwide Airport and what folks can count on? 

The Al Mourjan Enterprise Lounge makes transiting via Hamad Worldwide Airport an unparalleled buyer journey expertise, and has been thoughtfully designed in a resort-like setting, with an unimaginable water function and greenery, making it simple to overlook you’re in an airport. Spanning an enormous space over two flooring, premium passengers have entry to the whole lot they should make their airport expertise really feel virtually like a five-star lodge keep, together with the World’s Finest Enterprise Class Lounge Eating (Skytrax, 2023) with worldwide delicacies and an à la carte restaurant, convention rooms and personal workstations, single and double “quiet rooms” with recliner chairs and personal household areas with leisure rooms, a kids’s nursery and a devoted video games room.

Final yr, ‘The Backyard’ Lounge was additionally opened, designed to immerse passengers in a tranquil atmosphere full of pure gentle, unique vegetation and chic furnishings. The Lounge, while extremely aesthetic, additionally fulfils the wants of enterprise, leisure and household travellers with quite a few eating choices, rest rooms, a health studio, pedicure & manicure stations, spa services, devoted personal areas, leisure areas and a nursery.

What else is within the pipeline in your business-class services throughout the community and fleet? 

Our product growth groups are a number of the most modern within the {industry}, and they’re always methods to additional excellent the expertise for our clients. Qatar Airways already has the World’s Finest Enterprise Class, with the whole lot you’d count on on different airways’ First Class, and we work with a number of the most luxurious manufacturers, corresponding to Diptyque and The White Firm, which proceed to set us aside.

Qatar Airways’ latest Enterprise Class product is on the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner which, while not Qsuite, it affords related options, together with sliding privateness doorways, wi-fi gadget charging and a cushty and spacious lie-flat mattress. This modern plane operates on key routes to Europe and Asia, providing 30 Enterprise Class Suites and 281 Economic system Class seats. The Enterprise Class Suite offers a private, personal area with direct aisle entry, remodeling into a cushty 79-inch absolutely flat mattress. Passengers additionally take pleasure in various worldwide delicacies, the very best high quality facilities, and distinctive onboard service. 

The airport is presently increasing additional are you able to inform us extra about this challenge

Hamad Worldwide Airport (DOH) is Qatar Airways’ hub situated in Doha. Final yr in November 2022, the airport unveiled Part A of its growth plan which consisted of 9 initiatives, together with new lounges, a second airport lodge, a distant switch baggage facility, an indoor tropical backyard – The Orchard and lots of extra. With the growth, the airport’s terminal was prolonged by 125,000 sq. meters, leading to Hamad Worldwide Airport working one expansive terminal of 740,000 sq. meters. As a switch hub, the airport now consists of three switch halls, with Switch-C being launched within the new expanded space and has a capability of 400 passengers per hour, per lane. Hamad Worldwide Airport invests within the newest modern expertise to cut back processing time and improve safety inside the facility.

Part B of the growth challenge began in January 2023 which incorporates the extension on Concourse D and E and a second cargo terminal. After the completion of the second section the airport capability will enhance to 70 million passengers per yr.

You latterly opened The Orchard, are you able to inform us extra about this a part of the airport?

The Orchard is on the epicentre of the primary section of the growth plan, which is a 6,000 sqm indoor tropical backyard and features a 575 sqm water function. With bushes and shrubs sourced from sustainable tropical forests all over the world, wrapped round with world-class eating and retail experiences, The Orchard embodies an area to loosen up, rejuvenate and recharge.

Providing over 65 retail and eating choices, The Orchard is residence to some {industry} firsts and exclusives, together with the primary Ralph’s Espresso Store in an airport, the one Thom Browne retailer in an airport, the most important Ray Ban retailer in an airport and a flagship Louis Vuitton Boutique. This yr, the Al Mourjan Enterprise Lounge – the Backyard unveiled the world’s first-ever Louis Vuitton Lounge providing an expensive culinary expertise.

Learn our evaluation of the Louis Vuitton Lounge right here

Passengers can simply join from ORCHARD on the North Plaza to the well-known yellow teddy bear “LampBear”, on the South Plaza, utilizing the passenger prepare or using the a number of wayfinding options launched at Hamad Worldwide Airport.

Who’s a typical Qatar passenger

As Qatar Airways is such a various enterprise, set as much as serve the wants of individuals from everywhere in the world, there may be not one typical passenger. Our clients select to journey with Qatar Airways for a lot of completely different causes, whether or not for work or leisure, on their very own or with their associate, to observe international sporting occasions or reunite with relations, or to lie on a seaside or go to a Surprise of the World. All the pieces is feasible due to our community of greater than 170 locations, our excellent airport hub in Doha, our pleasant and accommodating workers and our award-winning product. What all of our clients do typically have in frequent is that they search for superior high quality, reliability and repair excellence, which is why most our passengers select to fly with Qatar Airways. 

As a enterprise Qatar continues to increase its community, partaking in thrilling sports activities and cultural partnerships – please inform us extra about this exercise. 

Qatar Airways is dedicated to uniting folks everywhere in the world via journey and sport and our sports activities sponsorships portfolio continues to increase to help this imaginative and prescient. This yr we turned the International Companion of Components 1, which is able to see us join followers from each nook of the globe to observe their favorite F1 races till no less than 2027. 

Qatar Airways already has sturdy partnerships throughout quite a lot of sports activities, most notably in soccer with Paris St Germain, Inter Milan and FIFA.

And if / how do these partnerships impression the client expertise?

These partnerships vastly improve the client expertise by providing unique entry to sporting occasions. Whether or not it’s via the Qatar Airways Holidays Final F1 Fan journey packages, or through particular affords accessible to members of our loyalty programme, Privilege Membership, Qatar Airways passengers can obtain distinctive alternatives to interact with thrilling sports activities past simply their flights. 

As a multi-award-winning airline, how does Qatar Airways proceed to persistently ship such excessive requirements of excellence throughout its providers?

Qatar Airways persistently upholds its excessive requirements of excellence via a mixture of relentless dedication, first-rate service supply, concentrate on the client, steady innovation and funding in expertise. For instance, just lately our cabin crew have been outfitted with new digital instruments developed in-house, which permit them to offer an excellent higher, extra personalised expertise to our passengers. We’re additionally repeatedly listening to our clients via surveys and suggestions, to make sure we will keep our excessive requirements throughout all points of air journey.

Have you ever observed any traits in the preferred locations for business-class travellers in recent times? Why do you assume that is the case?

Publish-COVID, the recognition of Enterprise Class has surged, and Qatar Airways’ premium cabins now exceed pre-pandemic demand. Amongst most well-liked locations for Europeans travelling in Enterprise Class are Doha, Maldives, Bangkok, Australia, Singapore, Auckland, Hong Kong and Bali. 

This shift probably mirrors a need for a extra premium journey expertise following pent-up demand throughout COVID, which has given passengers a style of luxurious, inflicting them to alter their journey habits for the long run. Qatar Airways is a trusted model within the premium airline area, so is well-positioned to serve these clients who now have a heightened appreciation for high quality, consolation and privateness. COVID received folks used to social distancing and many shoppers now quite take pleasure in having extra private area, significantly on a long-haul flight. 

Qatar Airways’ award-winning Qsuite is ideal for having fun with your personal area, with utterly personal suites and a ‘don’t disturb’ operate. It’s additionally excellent for travelling with companions, turning right into a double mattress or household suite in a matter of minutes, whereas nonetheless sustaining privateness in your group.

For the reason that pandemic, travellers are more and more on the lookout for higher worth. Qatar Airways is greater than a mode of transportation, we’re virtually thought of a ‘life-style model’, which permits us to concentrate on creating extremely precious moments for our clients. We’re dedicated to offering premium clients with a holistic expertise, from meet and greets on the airport, to cabin crew welcoming you by title onboard, to wellness choices on our inflight leisure system.

And do you assume they may proceed in recognition or are there different locations displaying indicators of elevated demand?

I believe these locations will at all times be common with Europeans as they serve each leisure and enterprise journey. Nonetheless, we might additionally see new progress in different locations that perhaps haven’t obtained the identical consideration for leisure journey as others, corresponding to Japan, China, Malaysia and Vietnam.

Luxurious is extremely subjective, what does it imply to you?

Luxurious for Qatar Airways means creating an atmosphere the place each side, from seamless check-in processes to distinctive in-flight providers to a very clean airport expertise, displays exclusivity and class. It’s about offering travellers with a way of indulgence and well-being, catering to their particular person wants with finesse, and guaranteeing each second with us is memorable and enriching. The Qatar Airways expertise also needs to go away passengers feeling refreshed and rejuvenated after they arrive at their vacation spot or again residence.

And equally, what do you assume it means to your passengers?

Luxurious to our passengers means having their wants anticipated and met seamlessly, whether or not it’s via unique facilities, spacious lodging, gourmand eating, or attentive service that caters to their preferences. Qatar Airways’ potential to adapt and match differing buyer wants means every passenger feels completely catered to and will go away their journey expertise with a way of pleasure, rest and craving for extra.

Lastly, what’s your life motto? 

The motto I reside by is to by no means accept common. At Qatar Airways, we don’t intention to ship transportation; we ship an unique expertise in contrast to another, while persevering with to push the boundaries of the aviation area and striving to ship excellence at each step of the client journey.

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