Qatar Airways Commences Final Preparations Before Take-Off To The 2018 FIFA World Cup RussiaTM

DOHA, Qatar, With the 2018 FIFA World Cup RussiaTM just one week away, Qatar Airways, the Official Partner and Official Airline of FIFA, is preparing to unite football fans from around the world as it begins the official countdown to the World Cup.

With the first World Cup match set to kick off on 14 June in Moscow, the award-winning airline will bring fans from across the world to Russia to celebrate their love for football by taking part in one of the most highly-anticipated events on the global sports calendar.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: With just seven days until the 2018 FIFA World Cup RussiaTMbegins, we could not be more pleased to be taking part in this event as the Official Partner and Official Airline of FIFA. This year's tournament is especially exciting, as it is the first to take place in Russia, an extremely important market to us. In the past year, we have extended our reach in Russia by launching new daily services to St. Petersburg, Russia's glittering cultural capital, complementing our triple-daily services to Moscow.

As the Official Partner and Official Airline of FIFA, we are delighted to see the excitement building, as fans from around the world prepare to gather in Russia to cheer for their teams and celebrate their love for the game. As an airline, we believe in the power of sports to bring people together, and there is no greater event than the 2018 FIFA World Cup RussiaTM to celebrate a love for football.

Last week, Qatar Airways launched a new 2018 FIFA World Cup RussiaTM campaign, featuring a re-recording of the classic song 'Dancing in the Street' sung by renowned singer and TV star Nicole Scherzinger. The upbeat TV commercial has seen tremendous global success, with more than 20 million views across the airline's social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

To celebrate the upcoming World Cup with fans and passengers, the airline launched a social media campaign last month titled 'FIFA Fan Match'. Participants were asked to describe themselves using five emojis for a chance to win tickets to watch the semi-finals in St. Petersburg. The highly engaging campaign was a great success, with five lucky winners from around the world looking forward to attending the World Cup semi-final match in Russia.

In April, Qatar Airways signed an MoU with Moscow's Vnukovo International Airport, Russia's third-largest airport, committing to a potential acquisition of up to 25 per cent of the airport's total shares, complementing the strong ties established with the country, and in support of the airline's existing investment strategy.

To celebrate the Year of Culture between the State of Qatar and Russia, the airline also earlier this year announced a five-year partnership with Cosmoscow International Contemporary Art Fair, a prestigious event that unites the contemporary Russian art market and helps its contributors establish contacts with the international art community.

In December 2017, Qatar Airways launched a new daily service 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 award-winning 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 groundbreaking sponsorship deal with FIFA, which saw the award-winning airline become the Official Partner and Official Airline of FIFA until 2022. The partnership, one of the biggest sporting sponsorships in the world, gives Qatar Airways extensive marketing and branding rights at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia� and the 2022 World Cup Qatar�, with an expected audience reach of more than two billion people per tournament.

The agreement sees Qatar Airways become the Official Airline Partner of the FIFA Club World Cup�, the FIFA Women's World Cup�, the FIFA Under-20 and Under 17 World Cups�, the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup�, and the FIFA Interactive World Cup�.

The airline's partnership with FIFA builds on its existing sponsorship strategy with premier sporting clubs around the world. In March, Qatar Airways signed a five-year partnership agreement with leading German football team FC Bayern Munchen AG, making the award-winning airline an FC Bayern Munchen platinum partner until June 2023.

Qatar Airways also recently revealed multi-year sponsorship agreements with Italian football club AS Roma, for which it will become the Official Jersey Sponsor through the 2020-21 season; and with Argentinian football club Boca Juniors, for which it will become the Official Jersey Sponsor through the 2021-22 season.

As part of a newly-enhanced three-season deal with Formula E, announced in Doha in January this year, the airline will also be the title sponsor of the upcoming Qatar Airways New York City E-Prix, taking place on 14-15 July.

The award-winning airline has received a record number of accolades recently, including 'Airline of the Year' by the prestigious 2017 Skytrax World Airline Awards, which was held at the Paris Air Show. This is the fourth time that Qatar Airways has been given this global recognition. In addition to being voted Best Airline by travellers from around the world, Qatar's national carrier also won a raft of other major awards at the ceremony, including 'Best Airline in the Middle East', 'World's Best Business Class' and 'World's Best First Class Airline Lounge'.

Qatar Airways recently revealed a host of upcoming new global destinations, including the announcement that it will be the first Gulf carrier to begin direct service to Luxembourg. Other exciting new destinations to be launched by the airline include Tallinn, Estonia; Valletta, Malta; Cebu and Davao, Philippines; Langkawi, Malaysia; Da Nang, Vietnam; Bodrum and Antalya, Turkey and Malaga, Spain.

Source: Qatar Airways