Qatar Airways promised an IATA annual general meeting that nobody would forget in Doha and this was certainly the case as the world’s airlines executive met this week for their AGM.
“Our friends at Qatar Airways wanted to ensure the full Qatar experience,” said IATA director general Tony Tyler, explaining why the airline had taken over sponsorship of the evening receptions traditionally sponsored by Airbus and Boeing respectively.
That full Qatar experience included lighting up the Ritz Carlton hotel against a backdrop of fireworks, a set from Kelly Rowlands and a stellar performance at the Gala dinner by none other than Kylie Minogue.
The coup of securing Kylie – whose status has reached the heights of only needing one name* – for her first visit to Doha to perform for airline CEOs underlined Qatar Airways’ chief executive Akbar Al Baker’s determination to deliver the best AGM ever. It was also, I’m sure, entirely co-incidental that she happens to be the multi-platinum record-selling sister of Dannii Minogue, a “guest ambassador” recently seen showcasing the new premium offerings for the A380s and 787s of a certain Abu Dhabi-based rival.
The AGM coming to Doha in itself was significant in recognising the developing role the rapidly expanding Gulf carriers and the region as a whole are having on the wider industry. The Airline Business team were out in force at the event and you can read our three daily papers from the conference – including interviews and insights with the likes of Tim Clark, Mark Dunkerly, Enrique Cueto, John Leahy, Masaru Onishi, Dave Barger and Alexandre de Juniac – here on our dedicated IATA AGM section here.
* Yes I know that list technically includes Sinitta, but you get my point