Connect with us


Analysis: FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ and Air Travel



FIFA World Cup 2022 and Air Travel

After a dramatic final match for Argentina against France, Qatar brought the curtain down on FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 last Sunday, highlighting the country’s influence on soccer worldwide and ending a tournament in which it proved doubters wrong about its ability to host such a significant tournament.

Argentina's Lionel Messi celebrates with the trophy and teammates after winning the World Cup
Argentina’s Lionel Messi celebrates with the trophy and teammates after winning the World Cup
Source: REUTERS/Carl Recine

In the tournament that took place in November and December, and throughout the 64 matches played in Doha, over 3.4 million fans were in attendance in Doha; therefore, air travel had a significant role in bringing together the entire world in Qatar for the most significant athletic event in history. Although the World Cup started in an era before widespread air travel, it has grown significantly and now depends on aviation for its success. Let’s look at some numbers of the air travel industry through the World Cup.

Qatar Airways; the official airline partner for FIFA.

FIFA World Cup 2022 and Air Travel
Source: Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways has had a hectic month; over 3.4 million fans attended the 64 matches played in Doha. Qatar Airways operated almost 14,000 flights throughout the tournament arriving at either Hamad International Airport (DOH) or Doha International Airport (DIA). Bookings to Qatar increased by 77% (compared to October) and more than 87% (compared to November 2019).

FIFA World Cup 2022 and Air Travel
Source: IATA

Travelers by region stats.

Most Qatar visitors came from the Middle East in November, which was not particularly surprising. In contrast to other regions, it only amounted to a 56% rise in reservations in November 2022 compared to the same month in 2019. Europe was the second-place runner in November, with ticket sales jumping 146% from the same period in 2019. Though reservations from this region were the fewest overall, the 1074% increase in reservations from Central and South America was equally astounding.

FIFA World Cup 2022 and Air Travel
Source: IATA

“Match Day Shuttle” flights

The shuttle flights were meant to relieve Qatar of some of the burden of hosting the first World Cup in the Middle East and give neighboring Gulf countries access to the tournament. The agreement that took place five months prior to the launch of the tournament included the following airlines:

  • flydubai (UAE)
  • Oman Air (Oman)
  • Kuwait Airways (Kuwait)
  • Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia)
Air Travel
Day of “Match Day Shuttle” agreement
Source: Times of Oman

Shuttle flights’ stats.

Bookings between Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar and Oman, and Qatar and Saudi Arabia increased in the Middle East. International travelers stayed in these countries and then shuttled to Qatar for specific matches. Passengers booking a return flight from Saudi Arabia to Qatar with only 0-1 night of stay increased from 5% in October to 16% in November. The UAE’s share increased from 14% to 51%, while Oman’s share increased from 5% to 44%.

Looking more closely

Bookings to Qatar almost doubled once Argentina qualified to play France in the championship game. Most tickets for flights before the final was bought two days beforehand, demonstrating that Argentinian supporters responded promptly to fly to Qatar to attend the final match as well as charter flights, which were significantly used by Argentine fans that increased overall visiting numbers.

General view of the presentation ahead of the Qatar 2022 World Cup football final match between Argentina and France at Lusail Stadium in Lusail, north of Doha on December 18, 2022. (Photo by Odd ANDERSEN / AFP)

Also, almost the same boost occurred in the week following Morrocco’s national team’s elimination of Spain in the round of 16; ticket sales from Morocco, a surprise semifinalist to some, climbed significantly. Spontaneous bookings from Morocco to Qatar for the day of the match versus Portugal rose in particular too.

A spectacular edition!

While both the competing teams and football fans have had a thrilling and historic World Cup, the same could be said about Qatar Airways. As highlighted by the CEO of Qatar Airways, Akbar Al Baker:


“What started as a dream has finally turned into reality. The State of Qatar succeeded in bringing the world together in a celebration of football and unity. Now, history will remember this FIFA World Cup – the first in the Middle East and the best edition ever. We are grateful to have been a part of this long and rewarding experience as the Official Airline of the Journey. For every step and every mile traveled with us, we have aimed to deliver a flying experience like no other.”CEO of Qatar Airways, Akbar Al Baker

2026 World Cup

The 2026 World Cup will be held in 3 countries. For the first time, the tournament will feature 48 teams and be jointly hosted by Canada, Mexico, and the USA. It will take place in 16 cities, including 11 in the USA, 3 in Mexico, and 2 in Canada. Given the distances involved, aviation will be crucial to the tournament’s success and further highlight the connection between air travel and the World Cup.

Read also: The world of football and aviation


Youssef is the president and founder of Aviation for Aviators; in addition to his role as Chief-in-Editor of the platform's website, Youssef is currently pursuing an engineering degree at Nile University in Egypt. With his unique blend of passion, expertise, and entrepreneurial spirit, Youssef is passionate about combining these traits with aviation to provide a unique resource for aviation enthusiasts and professionals alike.


IATA’s Alarm: Airline Profit Margins Remain Alarmingly Thin



Photo: Reuters/Brian Synder

IATA’s Director General, Willie Walsh, recently gave a wake-up call to the aviation industry about the precarious state of airline profit margins. His revelations were part of a broader discussion at IATA’s 79th Annual General Meeting and World Air Transport Summit, held in Istanbul, Türkiye.

The Current Profit Situation

This year, the aviation industry anticipates an astounding $803 billion in revenues. However, a shocking revelation is that only $9.8 billion of this colossal figure will translate into net profit. This means that, on average, the profit per passenger is a meager $2.25, an amount that can’t even cover the cost of a subway ticket in New York City. “Clearly, that level of profitability is not sustainable,” warned Walsh. Yet, he acknowledged the powerful recovery velocity, comparing it favorably to the $76 loss per passenger in 2020.

Airline Profit Margins

Identifying Major Hurdles

Walsh went on to elaborate the significant hurdles facing the industry. These include rising inflation, increasing operating costs, and enduring labor shortages. Along with these fundamental challenges, the industry is wrestling with specific pressures from OEM suppliers and oil companies. Walsh’s critique of OEM suppliers centered around their slow response to supply chain disruptions, which are both escalating costs and limiting aircraft deployment. “Airlines are beyond frustrated. A solution must be found,” Walsh expressed, reflecting the mounting exasperation within the industry.

Alongside the supply chain predicaments, Walsh pointed fingers at oil companies. He accused them of thriving at the airlines’ expense, noting that the crack spread for jet fuel was at record highs for most of 2022.

Airline Profit Margins
Photo by Ahmed Muntasir

Walsh also didn’t hold back in his criticism of certain airports for shifting their operational inefficiency costs onto airlines. He singled out Schiphol Airport for its egregious 37% charges hike spread over three years—with a 12% increase this year alone. He also flagged concerns around South African airports and ATC’s shocking 63% charges increase proposal.

Despite the enormity of these challenges, Walsh applauded the airline industry for maintaining profitability. He ended his speech with a powerful call to arms for increased accountability and stricter economic regulation for monopoly suppliers. In light of his critique, calls for lighter regulation should be dismissed outright.

READ Also: Riyadh Air Reveals New Livery and Receives IATA Code RX

The question that remains is: How can airlines and other stakeholders address these challenges to strengthen the airline profit margins? Your thoughts and opinions matter, share them in the comments section below.



Join others in a quick recap of AVIATION we talk weekly fresh to your email!

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Continue Reading


Delta Air Lines’ Exclusive Porsche Transfer Service: Luxury Travel at Its Finest



Porsche Transfer
Image by Justin Stöckel via

Delta Air Lines provides an exclusive Porsche transfer service that embodies luxury and extravagance, which most travelers only fantasize about. The airline offers this exceptional service as a surprise transfer option to some of its customers at specific airports. This article aims to explore Delta’s Porsche transfer service in-depth and uncover the benefits it offers.

Eligibility for the Program

Delta’s Porsche transfer service operates exclusively at specific airports, such as:

  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport,
  • Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport,
  • John F. Kennedy International Airport,
  • Los Angeles International Airport,
  • LaGuardia Airport,
  • Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport,
  • Salt Lake City International Airport,
  • Seattle-Tacoma International Airport,
  • and San Francisco International Airport.

Though the program’s specifics are not available to the public, it is presumed that only Platinum Medallion members and higher tiers are qualified to use the service.

Image via: The Business Journals

The Selection Process

Delta’s Porsche transfer service is unpredictable and the selection process seems to be arbitrary. However, it seems to prioritize passengers with limited time between flights. The selected passenger is greeted at the gate by a driver holding a sign with their name and directed to disembark directly onto the apron via a separate staircase. Afterward, the driver chauffeurs them to the next aircraft servicing their flight, usually a Panamera. Passengers also have the opportunity to take photographs with the car.

The Experience

The Porsche transfer service by Delta Air Lines takes approximately 10-15 minutes to complete, saving eligible passengers up to 30 minutes that they would have otherwise spent walking or using a shuttle to move between terminals. If the selected passenger’s next flight is ready for boarding, they are among the first to board. However, if not, they are escorted to their gate to await their next flight.


VIP Select Service

Delta Air Lines provides a VIP select service for flight transfers that guarantees a luxurious transfer experience. The service costs $350 for the first person and $100 for each additional person and offers an experience similar to the Porsche transfer service. However, it does not assure a ride in a Porsche, and passengers may be escorted by foot or golf cart instead.

To sum up, Delta Air Lines’ Porsche transfer service offers an exclusive and opulent experience that qualified passengers should consider. The service’s unexpected selection process adds an intriguing aspect to the service, while its effectiveness and convenience can save time for passengers with limited flight connections. Furthermore, the VIP select service provides a comparable experience for those who desire a luxurious transfer. Delta’s Porsche transfer service is a testament to the airline’s dedication to providing outstanding customer service and experiences to its passengers.

Also, you might be interested in reading: Delta Orders 100 Boeing 737 Max 10 Planes


Continue Reading


The Incredible Boeing 747-400: Which Airlines Still Operate Them Today?



Akbarali Mastan via

With a production run that spanned over three decades, the Boeing 747-400 has been a reliable aircraft with 694 planes built. As the 35th anniversary of the 747-400’s inaugural flight approaches, it’s essential to review which airlines are still operating these planes with the most significant number of flight cycles.

Modernizing the 747-400

Image by Severin Hackenberger via

As the sales of the Boeing 747 began to decrease, Boeing aimed to enhance the aircraft’s fuel efficiency, interior design, and electronics. To ensure that the updated model would meet the requirements of their customers, Boeing collaborated with major airlines such as British Airways, Cathay Pacific, KLM, Lufthansa, Northwest, Qantas, and Singapore Airlines. Their suggestions included a two-pilot system and a greater range with improved fuel efficiency.

Image via:

Northwest Airlines: The Launch Customer

Northwest Airlines was the launch customer for the upgraded Boeing 747-400, receiving their first aircraft in February 1989. Even before the first 747-400 rolled out of the factory, Boeing had already received 100 orders for the updated model.

The Most Active 747-400s

  • Royal Air Maroc received the Boeing 747-400 with the registration CN-RGA in 1993, which has an impressive 14,077 flight cycles to date.
  • Air China‘s 747-400 registered as B-2447 was delivered new in 1995 and has accumulated 13,710 flight cycles.
  • Lufthansa received D-ABVU in 1998, which currently has 13,419 flight cycles and is deployed on the Frankfurt to Delhi route.
  • Delivered new to Lufthansa in 1998, the Boeing 747-400 registered as D-ABVM has 13,408 flight cycles.
  • Lufthansa’s 23-year-old Boeing 747-400, registered as D-ABVW, was delivered in 1999 and has 13,003 flight cycles. It currently operates on the Frankfurt to Seoul route.
  • The plane registered as D-ABVX, delivered new to Lufthansa in 1999, has 12,546 flight cycles.
  • D-ABVY, which currently operates on the Frankfurt to Bengaluru route, was delivered new to Lufthansa in 2000 and has 12,130 flight cycles.
  • Delivered new to Lufthansa in 2001, D-ABVZ has 12,066 flight cycles.
  • Lufthansa took delivery of D-ABTK in 2001, which currently has 11,401 flight cycles.
  • The Boeing 747-400 registered as D-ABTL was delivered new to Lufthansa in 2002 and has 11,351 flight cycles.
  • Air Atlanta Europe‘s 9H-AZA is currently wet-leased to Saudia and has 8,626 flight cycles.
  • 9H-AZC, which operates under a wet lease agreement with Air Atlanta Europe, was first delivered to Malaysian Airline System (MAS) in 2002 and has 7,035 flight cycles.
Image via: Lufthansa

Active 747s without flight data

N176UA was delivered to United Airlines in 1990 but has not been recorded as having any flight cycles since being sold to Blue Airways and later to Iran’s Mahan Air. Currently, it operates flights between Tehran and Moscow. Another plane originally delivered to Korean Air in 1998, was subsequently sold to MaxAir in Nigeria and now operates as 5N-HMM on the Kano to Jeddah route.

Image by R.Bexten

As the 747-400 continues to fly the skies, these active planes with high flight cycles are a testament to the durability and longevity of this iconic aircraft.

Also, you might be interested in reading: 747-300 Returns to the Skies


Continue Reading


%d bloggers like this: