Once a year, the website AirlineRatings.com picks the best carrier in the world. The latest award, part of its “Top Airlines in the World,” went to Qatar Airways.
The State of Qatar is one of the world’s smaller countries, based on both population and geographic size. It has about 2.7 million residents and covers about 4,400 square miles. Among its distinctions is gross domestic product per capita, one measure of the wealth of the population. On this basis, the country ranks fourth in the world at $93,800. That is well above the United States with $65,300.
Qatar’s economy is based almost entirely on natural gas and oil. According to the CIA World Factbook:
Qatar’s reliance on oil and natural gas is likely to persist for the foreseeable future. Proved natural gas reserves exceed 25 trillion cubic meters – 13% of the world total and, among countries, third largest in the world. Proved oil reserves exceed 25 billion barrels, allowing production to continue at current levels for about 56 years.
Qatar is what is known as an absolute monarchy. Its head, the Emir of Qatar, is essentially a dictator.
Qatar Airways has built itself into a global “hub and spoke” airline, which has at its center Hamad International Airport. It serves over 100 destinations through the airport. Founded in 1993, the carrier has nearly 200 aircraft.
The reason for the rise of the carrier is simple. The extremely rich “government” of Qatar has built it, using billions of dollars of the nation’s energy fortune.
The airline has long been known for its extraordinary service, particularly in first and business classes. AirlineRatings.com said:
Qatar Airways was ranked number 1 because of its cabin innovation, passenger service, and its dedication and commitment to continue to operate throughout the COVID pandemic.
Without the nation’s fortune, its ability to operate at such a high level during the pandemic likely would have been impossible.