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Qatar Airways awarded at Business Traveller Cellars in the Sky awards

Qatar Airways has been awarded Gold Medal for ‘Best-Presented First Class Wine List’ and Silver Medal for ‘Best-Presented Business Class Wine List’ at the annual Business Traveller Cellars in the Sky 2013 awards, held at Trinity House in London. In addition, oneworld, which Qatar Airways joined in 2013, also won best airline alliance.

The annual awards, which have been running since 1985, recognise the best business and first class wines served by airlines worldwide. Business Traveller contacted more than 75 airlines in summer 2013, and of those 28 entered the awards. Blind tastings took place in London in December 2013, with four judges independently scoring the wines. The judges were Charles Metcalfe, co-chairman of the International Wine Challenge and food and wine matching guru, Peter McCombie, Master of Wine and top restaurant wine consultant, Robert Joseph, author and wine critic and Richard Bampfield, Master of Wine and wine consultant.  

Qatar Airways has an extensive wine program that represents 12 countries, and covers different grape varieties and styles. The wine list is changed every 3 months and customers in First and Business Class are presented with their own wine menu that, in addition to extensive explanations, includes recommended food and wine pairings. Qatar Airways is also the only airline to offer different selections going East and West out of Doha in First and Business Class, meaning that customers enjoy a new wine list on their return flight.  

The airline also has two international Masters of Wine who carefully handpick vintages from the world’s best producers for Qatar Airways’ customers. They meet twice a year for blind tastings and spend 3 days tasting at least 300 wines, taking into account differing taste profiles and how the palate is affected at higher altitudes.  James Cluer, one of the Masters of wine, recently climbed Everest to conduct the first ever professional wine tasting at 17,600ft. Having spent the last 9 years carefully handpicking vintages from the world’s best producers for Qatar Airways’ customers, James trekked up to Everest Base camp, with the help of his Himalayan Sherpa Karma,with 10 bottles of wine and champagnes in tow to analyse how wine changes with altitude.   

Richard Oliver, Country Manager UK and Eire, commented; “We are pleased to have been recognised at these prestigious awards for our onboard wine lists. Our International Masters of Wine carefully handpick vintages from the world’s best producers to ensure that our customers can enjoy the best wines in the sky and that our onboard wine lists are both extensive and changed regularly. These awards reiterate Qatar Airways commitment to providing excellent customer service and prominence as one of the world’s leading airlines.”  

Qatar Airways has seen rapid growth in just 17 years of operations, currently flying a modern fleet of 129 aircraft to 134 key business and leisure destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and The Americas.

  As part of its aggressive expansion programme, Qatar Airways will launch routes to eight new destinations during 2014. Sharjah (UAE) from March 1; Dubai World Central (UAE) from March 1; Philadelphia (USA) from April 2; Larnaca (Cyprus) from April 29; Sabiha Gokcen Airport (Turkey) from May 22; Edinburgh (Scotland) from May 28; Miami (USA) from June 10 and Dallas/Fort Worth (USA) from July 1.

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