Qatar Airways, an official FIFA partner and the official airline of FIFA, has congratulated France for winning the 2018 FIFA World Cup following a month of football excitement in Russia.
The tournament was watched by more than 2bn spectators around the world, with more than 250mn views on Qatar Airways’ social media channels, the Doha-based carrier said in a statement yesterday.
“Qatar Airways proudly supported the matches as they unfolded and now prepares to look ahead to the thrilling prospect of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar,” the airline stressed.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup was “a thrilling competition, bringing people together through the shared love of football and sports”. Qatar Airways took its celebration to the skies prior to the tournament’s semi-final and final by flying a hand-painted Boeing 777 aircraft in FIFA livery to Moscow.
The bespoke aircraft has been hand-painted in Ireland and “showcases just one example of how the World’s Best Airline has committed itself to this important partnership, one of the biggest sporting sponsorships in the world, alongside dedicated fan zones showcasing Qatari hospitality”.
Qatar Airways Group chief executive Akbar al-Baker said, “I would like to congratulate France on the win against Croatia. As a global airline, we could not be more proud to be part of this huge sporting event that has brought the world together though a shared love of football and sport. We are truly inspired by the excitement this tournament has created, and by the tremendous enthusiasm shown by fans around the world at each and every match.”
Qatar Airways senior vice-president (Marketing and Corporate Communications) Salam al-Shawa added, “The 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia has been both exciting and inspirational, as it has brought people together from all around the world to cheer for their teams and celebrate their love of football. We now look forward with tremendous anticipation to 2022, when the tournament will be hosted in our home country, Qatar. As the national carrier of Qatar, we could not be more proud as we prepare to welcome fans to our home and host city, Doha.”
Qatar Airways kicked off its celebration of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in June by teaming up with singer and TV star Nicole Scherzinger for a re-recording of the classic song, ‘Dancing in the Streets’, which resulted in an “upbeat and infectiously fun-filled” ‘musical’-style TV commercial. The song expresses the airline’s firm belief that sports is a universal language, which has the power to inspire and encourage people to follow their dreams and has a reach of more than 238mn people through social media and an anticipated broadcast reach on television stations around the world of 3.3bn viewers.
The final match marked the beginning of preparations for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar that will be held at stadiums across the country, including the location of the recent Amir Cup in May 2018, the Khalifa International Stadium, one of eight venues in Qatar that will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
In December 2017, Qatar Airways launched daily services to the cultural capital of Russia, St Petersburg, doubling the number of Russian routes operated by the carrier. The addition of St Petersburg to Qatar Airways’ route map demonstrates the importance of the Russian market to the carrier, which has been flying to Moscow since 2004. The airline currently operates three daily flights between Moscow and Doha, in addition to a daily flight between St Petersburg and Doha.
In May 2017, Qatar Airways announced a sponsorship deal with FIFA, which saw the airline become an official FIFA partner and the official airline of FIFA through 2022. The partnership, one of the biggest sporting sponsorships in the world, gives Qatar Airways extensive marketing and branding rights at the 2018 and 2022 FIFA World Cups, respectively hosted in Russia and Qatar, with an expected audience reach of more than 2bn people per tournament.
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