Louis Vuitton Showcases First Airport Lounge at Doha’s Hamas International Airport

Abhishek Nayar

30 May 2023

The renowned luxury brand Louis Vuitton has recently made a novel pronouncement that is bound to tantalize the taste buds of discerning travelers. In partnership with Qatar Duty Free, the brand introduced the Louis Vuitton Lounge by Yannick Alléno at Hamad International Airport in Doha. The collaboration between Louis Vuitton and Qatar Duty Free aims to elevate the benchmark for airport dining by combining exceptional cuisine with the essence of luxury.

Overview of the Louis Vuitton Lounge by Yannick Alléno

The Louis Vuitton Lounge by Yannick Alléno is designed to transform airport dining by providing travelers passing through Hamad International Airport with an exceptional culinary experience. This exclusive lounge provides a refuge of sophistication and indulgence in the midst of the hectic airport atmosphere, allowing guests to savor world-class cuisine prepared by Michelin-starred chef Yannick Alléno.

Elegant Ambiance and Design

When you step into the Louis Vuitton Lounge by Yannick Alléno, you are met with a room that exudes elegance and sophistication. The interior design for the lounge smoothly amalgamates the brand's iconic aesthetic with aspects that represent local culture. Every element has been carefully addressed, from the meticulously curated artworks to the plush furnishings, to create a sumptuous ambience that complements the culinary experience. The 24/7 lounge and restaurant, described as a "destination for travellers to dine and relax ahead of their departures," is designed as an extension of Louis Vuitton's travel legacy and culinary adventures and is positioned right above the brand's retail store in the airport. Visitors will enter a contemporary, tropical setting with soft light alongside Louis Vuitton elements such as stacked trunks surrounded by greenery, with Atelier Oi's colourful Quetzal bird creations overhead, accessible from the Al Mourjan Business Lounge - The Garden, located at the HIA expansion.

Seating is blended in with designer edition pieces from the Maison, such as India Mahdavi low tables, Paola Lenti high tables, and Martin Eisler's Costela armchairs. The Cosmic Table by Raw Edges and Bell Lamps by Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby are among the Objets Nomades, which are part of Studio Louis Vuitton's art de la table universe.  As for the design of the restaurant, world-renowned chef Yannick Alléno has developed a "multilingual" concept that caters to a variety of visitors and times of day. Alléno, whose Alléno Paris at the Pavillon Ledoyen and Le 1947 at Cheval Blanc both have three Michelin stars, made use of local produce, French classics, and international cuisine to put together a contemporary menu. Customer service is of the utmost importance at the Louis Vuitton Lounge. The tailored personnel are trained to anticipate each guest's desires and preferences, ensuring a personalized and seamless experience from start to finish. Whether you have dietary restrictions, specific preferences, or merely seek guidance on the menu, the staff will go above and beyond to cater to your needs and exceed your expectations.

The Culinary Concept

The culinary concept of Yannick Alléno's Louis Vuitton Lounge revolves around merging traditional French techniques with innovative culinary ideas. Yannick Alléno's gastronomic enthusiasm and meticulous attention to detail ensure that every dish served is an intricate piece of art in terms of flavour and presentation. The menu showcases a harmonious blend of classic and contemporary cuisine, each made with the finest ingredients sourced around the world. Yannick Alléno's cuisine features a wide range of gastronomic delights. Each dish is meticulously prepared to highlight the chef's creativity and experience, from exquisite appetizers to sumptuous main courses and decadent desserts. There is something to suit every palette, whether you adore marine delights, succulent meats, or innovative vegetarian alternatives. This includes Parisian viennoiseries and baked goods from the region, as well as hot sandwiches and eggs, smoked fish platters, caviar, and pastries. Visitors can choose lighter fare or starters and mains such as langoustine carpaccio with geranium essence, confit lamb shoulder flavoured with yuzu, and pilaf rice with dried fruit and spices at any time. Items can be enjoyed à la carte or experienced as a multi-course tasting menu.

Unique Dining Experience

Dining at Yannick Alléno's Louis Vuitton Lounge is more than just a meal; it is an immersive, multi-sensory experience. The ambiance, impeccable service, and exquisite presentation of each dish all weave together to create a phenomenal culinary journey. This dining experience aims to captivate your senses while leaving a lasting impression, whether you are a seasoned gourmet or an adventurous traveller eager to indulge in a culinary adventure of a lifetime. "The menu is complex because, above all, it should please everyone," Alléno explained in a press statement. The premiere in Doha follows Louis Vuitton's Cruise 2024 exhibition, which took place last week on the tiny Italian island of Isola Bella. Earlier that year, the house had its pre-fall 2023 show in Seoul, South Korea, as it homes in on emerging markets across the globe. The Lounge also features a comprehensive beverage selection that complements the culinary creations. The lounge provides an array of substitutes to enhance the dining experience, ranging from handcrafted cocktails and premium spirits to a curated wine selection featuring outstanding vintages. Expert sommeliers are also on hand to assist customers in traversing the selections to discover the ideal pairings for their dining experience.


Louis Vuitton Lounge by Yannick Alléno represents a union of sophistication, gastronomy, and opulence. It showcases Louis Vuitton and Qatar Duty Free's commitment to providing travellers with exceptional experiences that exceed expectations. Every element, from the gourmet menu offerings to the opulent ambiance, has been meticulously designed to ensure a memorable dining experience. So, the next time you are at Hamad International Airport, indulge your senses and embark on a culinary journey unlike any other at the Louis Vuitton Lounge by Yannick Alléno.

With Inputs from Fashion Network

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Air India Plans to Induct A350 by Year End; Keep Hiring 550 cabin crew & 50 pilots every month

Radhika Bansal

30 May 2023

Bullish on growth prospects with a "healthy start" to Air India's five-year transformation plan, its chief Campbell Wilson said the airline is hiring 550 cabin crew members and 50 pilots every month and also expects to have six wide-body A350 planes in its fleet by the end of this year. After taking over the reins from the government in January last year, Tata Group has put in place various measures to turn around the fortunes of the loss-making carrier, including placing the largest order for 470 planes and expanding international operations.

Talking about the airline's hiring plans, Mr Wilson, who is the Managing Director and CEO, said there is no target per se, but about 550 cabin crew members and 50 pilots are coming in and trained afresh every month. "In the case of cabin crew members, it is about ten times and in the case of pilots, it is about five times on an annual rate of the pre-privatised airline," he told PTI in an interview in the national capital.

According to him, this pace of hiring will continue for most of this year, taper off by the end of this year and accelerate again towards the end of 2024. "It (hiring pace) will match the induction of aircraft".

Against the backdrop of merging Air India Express and AirAsia India (now known as AIX Connect), and Vistara with Air India, Mr Wilson said they are also sensitive to the consolidation subject to regulatory approvals. "There are people, and (they) can fill in the roles. We are calibrating on who we are bringing in from outside in accordance with who exists with the four airlines... we are consolidating the airlines and growing substantially," he said.

On what could be the staff strength putting all the four airlines together, Mr Wilson said it would be around 20,000, excluding those being hired as part of the growth strategy. Earlier this month, Mr Wilson told employees that Air India and Air India Express have hired more than 3,900 people, including over 500 pilots and 2,400 cabin crew members, since the start of this year.

Aircraft Deliveries in Line

"The first narrow-body aircraft will come around July or August. The first wide-body aircraft (A350) will come around October," Mr Wilson said about the induction plans from the historic order placed for 470 planes earlier this year. Currently, Air India has 122 planes and is expanding its fleet. The airline expects to have six A350 and eight B777 aircraft by the end of this year. So far, the carrier has taken 9 B777 planes on lease.

In February, Air India announced that it would buy 250 aircraft, including 40 wide-body A350 planes, from European aviation major Airbus and 220 planes from US aircraft maker Boeing under separate deals. The order comprises 40 Airbus A350s, 20 Boeing 787s and 10 Boeing 777-9s wide-body aircraft as well as 210 Airbus A320/321 Neos and 190 Boeing 737 MAX single-aisle aircraft. According to the Air India chief, the true transformation will happen from next year onwards as it will get all the leased aircraft, start retrofitting old aircraft and deliveries from orders for 470 planes.

On the challenges ahead, Mr Wilson said it will be the sheer scale and pace of change as the airline was under-invested for quite some years. "So, the transformation that the main airline needs is significant. It is also merging the airlines... building training capacity and supporting the unprecedented growth path from a standing start," he added.

About the domestic industry, he said, "We all want a healthy, growing and stable ecosystem that is good for the consumers, economy, travellers, airlines, staff..." A repeated cycle of failures is not good for all of the stakeholders. So, that is a natural evolution and it has happened elsewhere too, he added. Regarding the ongoing five-year transformation plan ‘Vihaan.AI', he said it has been a healthy start.

On wet leasing of aircraft by airlines, Mr Wilson said it is a short-term measure to allow supply and demand to be in balance. "In the short term, it is a perfectly reasonable thing. In the long term, I think, we need to be careful that it does not undercut the incentive to invest in your own assets and put the skin in the game to grow the market... in a sustainable way," he noted. IndiGo has taken aircraft on a wet lease as part of expanding its international presence.

New Interiors of Air India Aircraft

“We will induct 19 new wide-body aircraft by the end of next March. These new planes will get onboard WiFi first. From mid-2024 we will start sending our 40 existing wide-body (27 Boeing 787s and 13 B777s) for a complete refurbishment. Their interiors will be scrapped and they will get everything brand new from seats to inflight entrainment (IFE) and onboard Wifi as part of our USD 400 million upgrade project. By mid-2025, all our twin aisles will have absolutely new cabin products,” Campbell Wilson said in an interview with The Times of India.

While 17 of the 19 twin aisles will be used for augmenting the fleet, Air India has recently started talks for indicting two more B777s so that it can retire two wide-bodies. A majority of Air India group’s full-service single aisles will also get a complete makeover by next September. “We are going to induct 50 single aisles this fiscal. By September 2024, 75-80% of our full-service single aisles will be brand new,” he said. The remaining 20-25% will be refurbished for being used by the low-cost arm, AI Express. This means in the next two years, AI full-service arm planes would have completely new interiors.

Meanwhile, Air India has also begun reinstating six of the 47 weekly non-stop flights to the United States that were temporarily suspended this March due to a shortage of B777 crew. “We are reinstating three of those flights this month and the remaining three next month. We are now hiring five and 10 times more pilots and cabin crew per month than last year. We are hiring 600 crew (550 cabin crew and 50 pilots) every month,” Wilson, who was selected managing director-chief executive officer by Tata Group last May, said.

Air India’s Transformation

After the acquisition, Tata Group, on September 15, 2022, unveiled the transformation plan ‘Vihaan.AI’, which set time-bound transformation milestones to establish Air India as a world-class airline. As part of the plan, Air India, over the next 5 years, will strive to increase its market share to at least 30% in the domestic market while significantly growing the international routes from the present market share. Vihaan.AI focuses on five key pillars, exceptional customer experience, robust operations, industry-best talent, industry leadership, and commercial efficiency and profitability.

First Phase

'Taxi', the first phase of the transformation plan Vihaan.AI, which focussed on "addressing legacy issues of the airline at scale and laying the foundation for future growth," has concluded, the airline said and added that now the second phase 'Take Off', -- that will focus on developing the platforms, processes, and systems needed to build toward excellence -- has commenced. In this phase, Air India is expected to complete the consolidation of its airline business, develop a world-class institute for training and build on the momentum seen in the first phase. Air India CEO and MD Campbell Wilson said the first six months of the transformation journey had made great strides in tackling many issues that had built up over the years, and the airline has come a long way in establishing foundations for growth. He further stated that - 

"The first six months of our transformation journey have engaged and united Air Indians behind a common cause, and made great strides in tackling many issues that had built up over the years. Our record-setting aircraft order, the commitment of USD 400 million to completely refurbish existing aircraft, the investment of USD 200 million in new IT, and the recruitment of literally thousands of staff are but a few of the significant investments being made to restore Air India to the upper echelons of global aviation. As we move into our Take Off phase, we will start seeing these investments bear fruit." 

Second Phase

The second phase will also witness the consolidation of AirAsia India and Air India Express; the Low-Cost Carrier (LCC) entity has already merged their core reservations platforms, websites, and customer-facing systems. "Vistara will also be merged with Air India following the grant of regulatory approval. The release said that developing a world-class training academy will also take shape as the future direction and configuration of the airline's line and base maintenance," the release said. Apart from launching premium economy seats for the first time on select long-haul flights, Air India has revamped its menus on international and domestic routes. The airline also rolled out over 29 new policies across employees to improve welfare, designed new remuneration programs for legacy staff, and "onboarded more than 3,800+ employees across crew and other functions to support capability and growth," the release said.

The airline rolled out a new organizational structure and revamped roles across levels with a conscious effort to address the disparities between permanent and full-term contract employees. It also introduced over 29 new employee policies to improve welfare and two new training programs, Saksham and ACE, to upskill staff and improve service. Not only that, the airline onboarded more than 3800+ employees across crew and other functions to support capability and growth.

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Thiruvananthapuram International Airport Introduces 6 E-Gates for Smooth Check-In

Radhika Bansal

29 May 2023

Thiruvananthapuram International Airport has been experiencing significant transformations since its acquisition by the Adani Group. To develop a technologically advanced ecosystem that will offer a seamless, consistent and paperless service experience, the International Airport here has introduced the advanced e-gate system to facilitate the journey of passengers. After checking in, passengers can enter the Security Holding Area (SHA) by scanning their boarding pass at the e-gates, the Airport authority has said. This new system replaces the previous practice of officials manually checking the boarding pass and granting admission. The implementation of e-gates promises smoother entry for passengers, reducing waiting times and minimizing queues, particularly during peak hours.

"Six e-gates with QR code scanners have been installed in the pre-security hold area of the airport's domestic and international terminals. Earlier, the officials used to directly check the boarding pass and admit the passengers," the airport authority said in a release. With the introduction of e-Gate, passengers will be able to speed up the check-in process and avoid long queues during peak hours, it said. E-gates will help airlines quickly locate passengers within the terminal and improve airport security, it added. Moreover, the enhanced security features contribute to improving overall airport safety.

This initiative aligns with the Adani Group's vision of creating a technologically advanced ecosystem that delivers a seamless, consistent, and paperless service experience. By introducing innovations like e-gates with QR code scanners, the airport aims to offer passengers greater convenience and efficiency while adhering to modern standards.

Technology integration in airport operations is becoming increasingly crucial, as it enhances the overall passenger experience and improves operational efficiency. With the introduction of e-gates, Thiruvananthapuram International Airport takes a significant step towards embracing this trend. The Adani Group's commitment to developing a technologically advanced infrastructure reflects its dedication to creating a world-class airport that caters to the evolving needs and expectations of travellers.

As the airport continues to transform the Adani Group's ownership, passengers can anticipate further advancements aimed at enhancing their travel experience. From seamless check-ins to advanced security measures, the airport's modernization efforts seek to position Thiruvananthapuram International Airport as a hub of efficiency, convenience, and technological excellence.

The contactless e-gates, empowered by touchless technologies and boarding card scanners, allow passengers to flash their physical or e-boarding cards and verify their flight details. After the verification process at the e-gates, the air travellers can proceed to security checks. Passengers carrying wide luggage or reduced mobility (PRM) can pass through it easily, and those carrying only hand baggage can walk through the normal lane e-gates.

About Thiruvananthapuram International Airport 

Thiruvananthapuram International Airport is an international airport which serves Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of Kerala, India. Established in 1932, it is the first airport in the state of Kerala and the fifth international airport of India, officially declared in 1991. It is the operating base of Air IndiaAir India ExpressIndiGo and SpiceJet. It is spread over an area of 700 acres. The airport is the eighth busiest airport in India in terms of international traffic and the twenty-second–most active overall. In the fiscal year 2022–23, the airport handled around 3.5 million passengers, with a total of around 25,000 aircraft movements.

In addition to civil operations, the airport headquarters the Southern Air Command (India) of the Indian Air Force (IAF) and the Indian Coast Guard for their operations. IAF have an exclusive apron to handle all their operations. Thiruvananthapuram Airport also caters to the Rajiv Gandhi Academy for Aviation Technology which carries out pilot training activities. The airport hosts Air India's Narrow body Maintenance, repair and overhaul unit – MRO consisting of twin hangars for servicing Boeing 737 type aircraft, servicing mostly Air India Express aircraft.

AAI signed a letter of agreement with Adani in September 2020. Adani Thiruvananthapuram International Airport Limited (ATIAL), floated by the Adani Group to run the airport, would operate, manage and develop the airport for a period of fifty years.  As per the agreement, ATIAL would get control of the airport only after a concession agreement was executed and the performance bank guarantee was paid and subject to clearance of legal hurdles.

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Qantas to Replace its B717 Fleet with A220s

Abhishek Nayar

30 May 2023

Qantas, one of Australia's leading airlines, is set to bid farewell to its Boeing 717 aircraft, signaling the end of an era in Australian aviation. For many years, these iconic aircraft have played an important part in QantasLink's regional operations. The Boeing 717s will be gradually replaced with the more fuel-efficient and modern Airbus A220 aircraft as part of the ambitious "Project Winton" fleet renewal programme.

Boeing 717 Jets of Qantas: A Legacy in Australian Aviation

Australia's First Boeing 717

The Boeing 717 is significant in Australian aviation history since it was the first of its kind to be registered and operated in the country. Its inclusion in the Qantas fleet heralded a new era in regional air transport. Because of the aircraft's strong structure, efficiency, and adaptability for short-haul flights, it was a suitable option for QantasLink's operations.

The Boeing 717 fleet of QantasLink

QantasLink has established a fleet of 20 Boeing 717 aircraft over the years, servicing various rural locations around Australia. These aircraft have served as the network's backbone, providing dependable and efficient service to customers travelling to smaller airports and regional centres.

The Boeing 717's Role in Qantas Operations

The Boeing 717 has played an important part in Qantas' operations, swiftly and pleasantly transporting passengers from large cities to remote locations. Because of its short take-off and landing capabilities, as well as its ability to operate from smaller airports, it has proven to be a great asset for QantasLink.

Current Scenario

The departing 717 (registered VH-NXI) has a particular role in the Qantas Group's contemporary history, having flown Jetstar's first trip between Melbourne and Launceston in May 2004. For the past 15 years, the aircraft has also flown on regional and domestic routes for QantasLink. Over the last two decades, it has completed over 29,000 flights and securely transported over 1.6 million passengers for both Qantas and Jetstar. Blue Mountains, named after a world-heritage-listed national park in New South Wales, is scheduled to depart Australia in mid-June before being sold to another large airline. It is the third 717 to depart the airline's fleet, and due to its limited range, the flight to its new owner in North America would require eight fuel stops, including Cebu, Sapporo, and Anchorage. The departing 717 was flanked at Sydney Airport by two new additions to the fleet: a Boeing 787 Dreamliner and a Jetstar A321neo LR. The next-generation aircraft are part of a massive fleet renewal initiative that will see the Group get a new aircraft every three weeks on average for the next few years. The new aircraft will assist Qantas and Jetstar in restoring capacity and expanding their networks while decreasing emissions and enhancing efficiency.

The Qantas Group has recovered to about 100% of pre-COVID domestic flying levels through a combination of new arrivals and standby aircraft returning to service, and it intends to restore 100% of international flying by March 2024. Alan Joyce, CEO of Qantas Group, joined pilots and crew at Sydney Airport to bid farewell to the 717 and welcome the new aircraft to the fleet. "It's the end of an era for these Boeing 717s, which have played a crucial role in connecting Australians across our domestic and regional networks for more than two decades," Mr. Joyce said. "It's fitting that the first 717 to be registered in this country is giving way to another brand-new fleet type, the A220, which has twice the range of the 717s and can open up new domestic and short-haul international routes." "Qantas is in the early stages of the largest fleet renewal programme in its history, with up to 299 narrowbody aircraft scheduled to be delivered over a 10-year period, in addition to the A350s that will operate our Project Sunrise flights." It is a really exciting time for both our personnel and our clients, as these new planes open up new opportunities and open up new locations. "We've already received four new aircraft this year, and we expect to receive eight more before the end of the year." "The new planes we're getting are far more capable than the planes they're replacing." They can fly longer distances while being considerably quieter and more efficient, while still offering a terrific experience for our customers."

Transitioning to the Airbus A220

Qantas has chosen the Airbus A220 as the replacement for the Boeing 717 as part of Project Winton. The A220 is a cutting-edge aircraft recognized for its fuel economy, range, and passenger comfort. The transfer from the Boeing 717 to the A220 will be gradual, guaranteeing the new aircraft's flawless integration into QantasLink's operations.

Benefits of the Airbus A220

The Airbus A220 provides several advantages to QantasLink and its passengers. For starters, it saves far more gasoline than its predecessor, lowering both running expenses and the environmental impact. The sophisticated aerodynamics and efficient engines of the aeroplane contribute to its outstanding fuel economy. Second, with its spacious interior, contemporary facilities, and comfy seats, the A220 delivers a superior passenger experience. Passengers will enjoy a more peaceful and restful flight, with wider windows providing panoramic views.

The Arrival of the A321XLR

Aside from the A220, Qantas is looking forward to the arrival of the A321XLR, a long-range variant of the Airbus A321. This aircraft will enable nonstop flights to more distant regional locations, greatly expanding QantasLink's capabilities. The A321XLR's improved range and efficiency make it ideal for Qantas' expanding network.

Qantas' and its Passengers' Reactions to Fleet Renewal

Improved Passenger Experience

QantasLink hopes to improve the customer experience with the arrival of the Airbus A220 and A321XLR. Passengers will have a pleasant and memorable flight thanks to the contemporary interiors, comfy seats, and superior in-flight entertainment systems.

Environmental Sustainability

Fleet renewal is critical to Qantas' goal of lowering its environmental footprint. The A220 and A321XLR's fuel economy will dramatically cut carbon emissions, contributing to a more sustainable aviation sector.

Cost Efficiency and Operational Benefits

Qantas will also benefit from cost savings and improved operational efficiency as a result of the new aircraft. Fuel savings, along with decreased maintenance requirements, will result in lower operational expenses over time. The A321XLR's increased range and flexibility will allow Qantas to optimize its route network and meet the changing needs of regional travellers.


Qantas' decision to retire its Boeing 717 aircraft in favor of the Airbus A220 and A321XLR marks a watershed moment in the airline's history. The shift will not only improve the passenger experience but will also help make regional aviation more sustainable and efficient. Qantas continues to be committed to providing excellent service while embracing technological breakthroughs that influence the future of air travel.

With Inputs from Qantas

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Qatar Airways Introduces Card Linked Offers for Avios

Abhishek Nayar

29 May 2023

Loyalty programmes have become a vital part of our lives in today's fast-paced environment. Qatar Airways Privilege Club recognizes the importance of providing its members with memorable and rewarding experiences. Privilege Club's launch of Card Linked Offers strives to increase the perks and privileges enjoyed by its devoted members.

Qatar Airways Privilege Club Overview

Qatar Airways Privilege Club is a loyalty programme meant to reward and recognize frequent flyers of the airline. When flying with Qatar Airways or its partner airlines as a Privilege Club member, you may earn Qmiles, the program's loyalty currency. These Qmiles may be redeemed for a wide range of enticing benefits, including aircraft upgrades, hotel stays, vehicle rentals, and much more. Privilege Club members may now earn Avios while going about their daily lives thanks to the introduction of Card Linked Offers.

Card Linked Offers

Qatar Airways Privilege Club is delighted to announce the introduction of Card Linked Offers, a ground-breaking feature. This new feature is designed to transform the way Privilege Club members engage with their loyalty programme, effortlessly incorporating Avios into their daily lives. Members may now earn and spend Avios on their everyday purchases at a variety of retail and leisure partners in Qatar by attaching their Visa or Mastercard credit cards, including those registered in Apple Pay, Google Pay, or Samsung Pay. Card Linked Offers expand the advantages available to Privilege Club members by rewarding them for shopping, dining, and other transactions made with the linked credit cards, giving them more options than ever before. This new function is available for Visa credit cards issued in over 70 countries, as well as Mastercard credit cards issued in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Qatar, the UAE, the UK, Uruguay, and the United States.

"At Qatar Airways, we constantly look towards innovation and ensuring our services are unparalleled in the industry, and our loyalty programme is no different," stated His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker. Privilege Club has experienced several improvements in the previous year, including the introduction of Avios as the rewards currency, and the current Card Linked Offers release just adds to our ongoing improvement plan. "After introducing the ability to collect and spend Avios in our airport, we believe that the addition of the new feature will further solidify the Privilege Club experience as a lifestyle." Our members will notice an amazing selection of incentives while spending and collecting their Avios once the Card Linked Offers debut."

Users may link purchases to the loyalty programme by logging into their Privilege Club account and entering their credit card information. When members complete a transaction at a partner location, they can opt to collect or spend Avios through their account, which will be credited in Avios or the equivalent cashback on their connected card. Privilege Club has collaborated with a broad range of prestigious partners, like Kulud Pharmacy, F45, Evergreen Organics, and many more, to provide Card Linked Offers at their locations. As new partners are added to the portfolio, members will have access to a broader range of retail, food and beverage, and leisure locations to take advantage of the Card Linked Offers.

Redeeming Avios for Rewards and Benefits

The actual value of Avios is realized when they are redeemed for exciting rewards and bonuses. Qatar Airways Privilege Club provides a wide range of redemption choices, allowing members to pick incentives that best suit their interests and travel goals. Avios may be redeemed for flight upgrades, complimentary lounge access, hotel stays, car rentals, souvenirs, and much more. The redemption process is simple, with members able to explore their selections and redeem them via the Privilege Club website or app.

Enhancing the Privilege Club Experience

The addition of Card Linked Offers demonstrates Qatar Airways' commitment to improving the Privilege Club experience. The airline guarantees that loyalty is not restricted to travel-related activities by seamlessly integrating Avios into members' routines. Members can effortlessly earn Avios by taking full advantage of their credit card purchases using Card Linked Offers. This connection enables Privilege Club members to maximise their loyalty by converting daily purchases into spectacular incentives, giving a sense of fulfilment and appreciation for their ongoing support.


The introduction of Card Linked Offers by Qatar Airways Privilege Club transforms the reward programme experience. The airline guarantees that loyalty is not limited to flying by incorporating Avios into members' daily lives. Members may earn Avios on regular transactions and access a variety of perks and bonuses with Card Linked Offers. This novel function enriches the Privilege Club experience by forging a stronger bond between members and the airline. Join Qatar Airways Privilege Club today to begin earning Avios for daily activities.

With Inputs from Qatar Airways

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Air France A350 Forced to Land Back in Osaka After Bird Strike Damages Nose Cone

Abhishek Nayar

29 May 2023

While flying is one of the safest methods of transportation, unanticipated mishaps can occur, causing problems for both passengers and crew members. One such event occurred when an Air France flight from Osaka to Paris encountered a bird strike, resulting in a severe scenario that necessitated the flight's return to its departure location.

The Impact of Bird Strikes on Aircraft

Depending on the size and speed of the bird, as well as the location of the hit, bird strikes can inflict varying degrees of damage to aircraft. The bird impact damaged the nose cone of the Airbus A350-900 aircraft in this occurrence. The nose cone, also known as the radome, is an important component that safeguards the weather radar and other equipment placed within it. In addition, the flight deck crew discovered a technical malfunction with the aircraft's weather radar and speedometer. Although the bird impact was the particular root of the malfunction, further investigation would be required to assess the degree of the damage and any subsequent repair requirements.

Air France Flight AF291: Incident Details

Let us now examine the specifics of Air France flight AF291, which was affected by the bird attack event.

Flight Duration and Route

Air France flight AF291 operates between Osaka and Paris over a distance of roughly 9,000 kilometers. The journey is normally essentially 12 hours, making it a handy alternative for tourists traveling between these two locations.

Declaration of an Emergency and Return to Osaka Kansai Airport

After a bird hit damaged its nose cone earlier today, an Air France flight between Osaka and Paris was forced to return. After the flight deck crew spotted a technical fault with the Airbus A350-900's weather radar and speedometer, AF291 declared an emergency and returned to Osaka Kansai Airport (KIX) less than three hours into its 12-hour journey. The one-year-old widebody, registered F-HTYO, departed Osaka at 11:15 a.m. JST on its way to Paris' Charles De Gaulle Airport (CDG). The crew of Air France did not become aware of the bird hit and cone damage until 11:50 JST while cruising at 35,000 feet just north of Tokyo. According to the Aviation Safety Network, AF291 elected to return to Osaka at about 12:10 JST before declaring an emergency 40 minutes later. AF291 landed successfully in Osaka at 14:25 JST, momentarily shutting down runway 24R for nearly an hour for inspection. At least 11 other flights were delayed. There were no reported injuries among the flight's 324 passengers and crew. The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism is presently handling the inquiry, although preliminary findings indicated a "minor" dent on the nose radome and broken pitot tubes. F-HYTO remains on the ground at Osaka Kansai, with local media reporting that the aircraft is undergoing minor maintenance at the terminal.

Reactions and Support from Passengers

Naturally, the event created considerable disturbance and anxiety among the passengers on board Air France aircraft AF291. However, the crew conveyed the issue effectively and reassured the passengers of their safety. Airline personnel and ground staff responded quickly, aiding passengers with rebooking, hotels, and any other arrangements necessitated by the aircraft diversion.

Precautions and Countermeasures Against Bird Strikes

Aviation authorities, airports, airlines, and aircraft manufacturers all take safeguards and make efforts to reduce the danger of bird attacks.

Programmes for Airport Bird Control

Airports frequently have specific bird control programmes in place to regulate nearby bird populations. To dissuade birds from breeding or feeding near runways and flight routes, these programmes use a variety of measures, such as habitat alteration, deterrent devices, and bird hazing.

Features of Aircraft Design

Specific design characteristics are used in aircraft to improve bird attack resistance. Reinforced windscreens, stronger materials for leading edges and key regions, and engine bird ingestion avoidance techniques are among them. These design modifications lower the impact of bird strikes and reduce the likelihood of critical damage.

Pilot Procedures and Training

Pilots undergo comprehensive training to deal with emergency scenarios such as bird attacks. They are taught to determine the severity of the impact, examine any damage, and make educated judgements on whether to continue the flight or return to the departure airport. There are standard operating procedures and checklists in place to help pilots deal with such occurrences safely.


The bird strike event that prompted Air France flight AF291 to return shows the necessity of aviation readiness, safety precautions, and good communication. While bird strikes constitute inherent dangers, the aviation industry is always working to reduce these risks through extensive training, airport bird control programmes, improved aircraft design features, and routine maintenance procedures. We can secure safer skies for everybody by better understanding the consequences of bird strikes, taking preventative measures, and encouraging teamwork.

With Inputs from Aviation Safety Network