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HMSHost signs MOU with Qatar Airways; Joint Venture to elevate F&B offering at Hamad International Airport Doha

Amsterdam, 23 April 2021 – HMSHost International, global market leader in the food and hospitality industry for people on the move, continues to expand its footprint in the Middle East with the announcement of a signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for a Joint Venture with Qatar Airways, Skytrax-rated Best Carrier worldwide. The MOU prefaces a new partnership between the two industry titans, setting the stage for the elevation of the food & beverage offering for Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar in 2021.

The MOU sets in motion exciting plans to develop the airport’s food and beverage (F&B) offering, with an emphasis on operational excellence and enhancing overall consumer experience in line with Hamad International Airport’s (HIA) vision to become known globally as the best airport in the world. The carefully curated F&B scene will be based on responding to the needs of travellers while drawing on the half-century experience of HMSHost’s operations in global airports, along with the collective strengths of the wider Autogrill Group.

“Signing this Memorandum of Understanding together with one of the most significant airlines, and airports, in the world right now is a powerful and positive signal to the industry and an excellent strategic step for our company and our Group. Working alongside remarkable people like Akbar Al Baker, with such an impressive career in shaping our industry, is an exciting opportunity, and one that we will learn from as much as we contribute to. We look forward to finalising our plans and taking the next step together in the world-class airport Qatar, as we continue to greet travellers with our signature warmth and attentive HMSHost welcome.” said Walter Seib, CEO, HMSHost International.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “We are delighted to have signed a Memorandum of Understanding for a Joint Venture with HMSHost, one of the leading global developers and managers of dining venues in the travel industry. This new partnership is part of our efforts to provide an enhanced travel experience and F&B offering to all our passengers travelling through the award-winning Hamad International Airport.”

Thabet Musleh, Vice President Operations, Qatar Duty Free, said: “We are very excited to work with HMSHost and very much look forward to unveiling an entirely new F&B offering shaped by global travel F&B trends and tailored to meet all our customers’ needs.  As a JV, and in collaboration with HIA and Qatar Airways, we will be uniquely positioned to leverage technology to make our new F&B offer available to our passengers at all stages of their journey, as is our passenger expectation especially in the post COVID19 era.”

The partnership is truly a match of titans. A globally recognised airport, HIA has been awarded as a five-star airport by Skytrax for their COVID-19 operations, and is currently rated as the third best airport in the world and best airport in the Middle East. Plans for elevating the F&B component in the airport complements the recent refurbishment of Qatar Duty Free’s core liquor, retail and confection departments, the first steps in a greater plan to add to the overall retail element of Qatar Airways in the lead up to the expansion of the airport’s North Node set to open in 2022, a new experience in shopping and dining. As part of Autogrill Group, HMSHost International is the largest F&B operator at high traffic locations globally.