Comparing Qatar Airways & Etihad Airways: Key Differences

Qatar Airways vs Etihad Airways

A comparison of Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways is relevant for travelers, as both airlines are premium operators in the Gulf region with some differences in their services. Qatar Airways is the national airline of Qatar with its headquarters in Doha, while Etihad is a major airline of Abu Dhabi, UAE. Both airlines are highly regarded by Skytrax and considered top class by passengers. Regardless of the differences in the facilities they offer, it is important to remember that they belong to the best airline category.

More about Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways is one of the few airlines with a 5-star rating from Skytrax. It is among the fastest-growing airlines in the world, with a fleet of 144 aircraft flying to 140 destinations across Asia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East, Oceania, and North and South America. Established in 1993, Qatar Airways was initially owned by members of the royal family but was revamped in 1997, with 50% of the equity now in the hands of private investors. In addition to regular passenger services, the airline also operates cargo services, generating significant revenue. In 2009, Qatar Airways became the first airline in the world to use Gas to Liquid (GTL) fuel to test the viability of natural gas as a jet fuel, as Qatar is one of the largest producers of natural gas. The airline has a developed in-flight entertainment system with a touchscreen fitted at the back of every seat for passengers. It offers tickets in First, Business, and Economy classes.

More about Etihad Airways

Established as the national airline of the UAE in 2003 by the royal family, Etihad has become a prominent airline growing at a rapid rate. It conducts flights to 63 destinations, carrying more than 6 million passengers annually. The airline offers tickets in Economy, Business, First, and The Residence, which is the world’s only three-room private luxury cabin exclusive to the Etihad A380 serving London Heathrow and Sydney. Etihad uses an AVOD (audio video on demand) system for in-flight entertainment and has a fleet of loyal passengers who appreciate its quality of service.

Key Takeaways

  • Both airlines allow 32kg baggage with dimensions defined as 158cm for Qatar and Etihad flights to and from the US, Canada, and Brazil.
  • In terms of customer experience from booking flights to check-in, baggage drop, boarding, plane conditions, in-flight entertainment, and quality of food served, the two airlines have little difference, with Etihad only marginally ahead.
  • While Qatar Airways has First, Economy, and Business classes, Etihad offers Economy, Business, First, and The Residence classes.
Dmitri Ivanov
Dmitri Ivanov
Dmitri Ivanov, a writer and managing editor, was educated in Canada and holds a BS in Science. Dmitri loves doing research, writing, and teaching various courses.


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