Qatar Air Cargo – Award winning cargo carrier

Qatar Air Cargo is award-winning cargo carrier and one of the leading cargo carriers in the world. Serving the extensive network of more than 160 destinations and over 60 freighter destinations, featuring the specialized cargo fleet of 28 aircraft (two B747-8 and 26 B777 Freighters) including 6 Boeing B777-300ER small freighters, Qatar Airways Cargo is based at Hamad International Airport(HIA) in Doha. It is the second-largest revenue stream for Qatar Airways Group and offers extensive and high-quality air freight service to booming customers worldwide.

Qatar Air Cargo

Qatar Airways considered the best airline globally for passenger air services, is equally bestowed with a world-class cargo handling facility. The divisions or subsidiaries of larger passenger airlines have freight capacity onboard Qatar Airway’s passenger fleet.

Air transport constitutes various international logistics networks, finished inventories, managing and controlling the flow of ideas, information, and resources. Qatar Airways Company is the flag carrier of Qatar. It is the third-largest international freighter in the world. The 5-star airline’s freight branch launched its dedicated cargo flight in June 2009 to Cairo International Airport, accompanying the passenger air services, which had just started.

Qatar Air Cargo Products

Qatar Airways cargo encompasses a wider range of products to valued customers. They are:

  • QR Pharma
  • QR Fresh
  • QR Live
  • QR Charter
  • QR Express
  • QR Premium services
  • QR Mail
  • Dangerous goods

1. QR Pharma

It is concerned with the transportation of pharmaceuticals in controlled, environmental-friendly containers. QR Pharma offers both active and passive solutions, and pharmaceuticals are handled and loaded with high priority and quick ramp transfer at the hub. It has received Pharma certification from IATA CEIV for transportation and handling.

2. QR Fresh

It deals with perishable cargos such as Flowers (PEF), seafood (PEP), foodstuff (EAT). Such PER cargos are transported seamlessly at a controlled temperature in compliance with IATA Perishable Cargo Regulations.

3. QR Live

The live animals’ consignment should comply with IATA’s Live Animals Regulations to be accepted for carriage. QR Live offers world-class air freight services for live animals and pets (horses, exotic animals, and livestock) across the network of more than 160 destinations. Documentations required for live animals (AVI) are health certificates, licenses to export by national authority, IATA shipment certification for live animals.

The acceptance is monitored by a centralized system (HUB) in airlines. This required advance arrangements.

4. QR Charter

QR Charter offers cost-effective, qualitative, fully integrated air cargo charter operation services to a network of passengers and freighter destinations as full charter, partial/split charter, or combination charter. The charter solution is offered to industries like Oil and gas, electronic and product launches, live animals, perishable items, dangerous goods, pharmaceuticals, etc.

5. QR Express

QR Express cargo shipping is suitable for the speedy delivery of time-sensitive, critical cargo, offering rapid handling, dedicated ramp delivery, and priority uplift with an expedited retrieval at the required destination after landing. It is a perfect solution for time-critical consumable goods.

6. QR Premium Services

 QR Premium services are categorized as QR Gold and QR Platinum services. The value-added premium services will satisfy the customers with timely delivery of urgent air freights to and from Qatar Airways Cargo destinations.

7. QR Mails

It is tailored to give an unrivaled mail service. As 70% of the Qatar Airways’ air route network are installed with the latest handling technologies, QR Mail tackles the global airmail demand; for local, regional, and international postal operators and consolidators worldwide. From acceptance to delivery, QR mails are 100% paperless and will be stamped electronically, maintaining a high level of privacy to the customers’ data.

8. Dangerous Goods

The shipment of dangerous goods is risky as it can pose a risk to aircraft, passengers, and the environment. The nine classes of hazardous goods include explosives, flammable gas, flammable liquid, flammable solids, oxidizing agents, toxic and infectious substances, radioactive elements, corrosive substances, and miscellaneous substances to be handled as governed by IATA and ICAO. Dangerous good transportation is handled by a highly skilled staff of Qatar Airways.

With the rise of e-commerce and coronavirus continuing to hit the macroeconomic forces with new waves, air cargo operations are cruising to build a more resilient aviation industry. Qatar Airways Cargo has got business opportunity worldwide to distribute billions of vaccine doses. The COVID-19 crisis has brought a spotlight on Qatar Air Cargo. The urgent requirement of freight service to transform digital operations and sustainability highlights its importance to developing a collaborative business model and take advantage of the market shift.  As the sky of air passengers remained hungry with the international travel restrictions, Qatar Airways became one of the first airlines to convert the passenger aircraft for full cargo service and adding new cargo markets.

Qatar Air Cargo
Qatar Air Cargo spotted at Kathamandu, Nepal

Previously less-known Qatar Airways Cargo has climbed the ladder of freight transport success by becoming one of the airlines to operate leading cargo services during the pandemic and Ethiopian Airlines and Saudia.

Qatar Airways and Doha Hamad Airport have co-operated to help the airline head the list as number 1 in cargo demand and supply. In 2020, the cargo payload reduction was only 11% for Qatar Airways. The cargo business model’s adjustment helped Qatar Airways obtain its ambition by turning the top cargo airlines upside down and retaining the global position, surpassing FedEx and Emirates.

Qatar Airways was also the ‘largest air operator linking passengers flying to 120 destinations worldwide. Earlier introduction of appropriate technology viable to a pandemic, like touchless procedures for passengers, robots, compulsory gloves, masks, sanitizers, the airline was appreciated for the efforts expended in mitigating virus and awarded 5 star Skytrax rating.


Utilizing Boeing 777 cargo carrier, Qatar Airways operated its foremost US dedicated air freight service from Hamad International Airport to Chicago-O’ Hare, with a stopping point in Amsterdam, Netherlands, on March 13, 2013. Airbus A330F replaced A300-600F, which was leased from BOC Aviation. Until early 2015, Qatar Airways Cargo flew to 3 destinations in the US, i.e., Houston, Chicago, and Atlanta. On March 18, 2015, the airline announced to start two weekly freighter flights of Boeing B777 to Los Angeles, making it the fourth US freighter destination.

Similarly, on December 27, 2016, Qatar Airways Cargo issued a statement to launch the cargo services to 4 new American destinations starting February 2, 2017. The South American city of Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Quito would be served twice a week by Boeing 777 freighters. The aircraft would offer two cargo flights in a week in Miami, a city in the US.

Qatar Airways has the state ambition to be the largest freighter in the world, both fleet, and network. Despite the air market slowdown, there has been no letup in its pursuit of becoming the number 1 global cargo carrier.

In 2019, Qatar Airways expanded its fleet of B777s and the network, increasing cargo traffic by 15.4% and kept the record of having the second-highest growth rate in 2018.  As the cargo traffic increased, it was able to retain the third position in the top 25 cargo airlines of 2018. The airline seeks to transport a significant volume of cargo reliably and quickly through the global air networks, which will be the key facilitator of growth for the airline customers. Full utilization of freighters can help achieve the network strategy.

In 2019, with brilliant air cargo performance, QR leapfrogged Emirates to 2nd place among the top 10 Air Cargo Carriers 2019. As the freighter fleet was added, the airline saw an increase of overall cargo capacity by 11.8%. Despite the airspace blockade imposed on Qatar by its neighboring countries starting on June 5, 2017, the airline continued to grow and became the largest pure cargo carrier in 2019.

In light of weakening market conditions, Qatar Airways was able to increase cargo traffic. Since the start of the pandemic, the airline has added Lusaka and Harare as the fifth and sixth African destinations. QR will operate over 100 flights in a week to 27 African destinations as two new destinations are linked. QR cargo plays an important role in the export of goods and resources from Zambia and Zimbabwe.

In the COVID world, the partnerships with strong opponent airlines have improved. The rivalry has been replaced by cooperation with AA, AC, neighboring Emirates, and upcoming arrangements with Alaska Airlines. During the early months of the pandemic, the airline offered cargo services worldwide that wasn’t linked directly to its base. In early 2021, 61% was on dedicated cargo planes out of the airline’s cargo capacity, while 39% was on passenger airplanes where the cabins were brimmed with cardboard boxes and seats removed.

Once enough passenger demand returns, the current cargo position of Qatar Airways will somehow drop, but a new freighter will be added. 2023 and 2024 are the top delivery years for Boeing B777.

Qatar Airways Cargo stresses the need to secure the flow of high-value cargo by air. Qatar Airways Cargo offers sophisticated air consignments with state-of-art facilities, adhering to Quality Management System throughout the operations with a human touch.  

You May Also Like