Emirates or Qatar Airways – Which is better?

Emirates and Qatar Airways are two of the world’s best airlines. Comparing their inflight services, networks, and industry reputations helps us clearly see which airline has the edge.



Inflight services


Emirates First Class on its Airbus A380 aircraft feature doors, letting you escape with ultimate privacy. Fine dining is available at any time during the flight. Plus, there is a shower spa and lounge bar. On Boeing 777 aircraft, First Class suites feature virtual windows and soft leather seats. All seats transform into lie-flat beds. Qatar Airways’ spacious First Class offers superior privacy and comfort. Seats are designed to serve as a comfortable workspace and they transform into fully lie-flat beds. World-renowned chefs have designed the cabin’s menu, plus there is a caviar service and artisan bread. Designer lounge wear and luxurious amenity kits are also provided.


Emirates Business Class on A380s feature gourmet meals and an onboard lounge. Seats transform to lie-flat beds. On Boeing 777 aircraft, soft leather seats convert to fully flat beds. Qatar Airways’ award-winning Business class features aft- and forward-facing seats that convert to lie-flat beds with massage functions. Premium meals are served in a stylish cabin. For suites with doors, the Qsuite is Qatar Airways’ new Business Class product. Middle seats can be converted into a quad room for four passengers.


Economy Class on Emirates flights include regionally inspired meals and amenity kits. Award-winning inflight entertainment boasts thousands of hours of movies, series, and more. Qatar Airways’ award winning Economy Class delivers similar service, including complimentary meals and 4,000 entertainment options. Neither airline as a Premium Economy product.




Qatar Airlines and Emirates’ network


Based at Dubai International Airport, Emirates is the Middle East’s largest airline. It normally operates flights to more than 150 destinations in over 80 countries. The airline’s network spans six continents.


Qatar Airways flies to over 130 destinations on six continents. The airline is a member of the One World alliance, which provides customers with hundreds of additional destinations through codeshare flights.


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Industry reputation


Emirates is recognised as a 4-Star Airline by Skytrax, a leader in reviewing airlines. Qatar Airways is certified as a 5-Star Airline, one of the first airlines to receive the honour. Skytrax notes Qatar Airways’ leadership in delivering high standards of service and products. Seating, amenities, food, and cabin staff are among the industry’s best. Skytrax also ranks Qatar’s hub at Hamad International Airport in Doha as a 5-Star Airport.


In its 2019 World Airline Awards, Skytrax named Qatar Airways as the world’s best airline. Emirates placed in fifth place. Emirates was also recognized with the award for World’s Best Inflight Entertainment. Qatar Airways received several honours, including World’s Best Business Class, Best Airline in the Middle East, and World’s Best Business Class Seat. It also was ranked has having the best cabin crew, economy class, first and business class lounges, cabin cleanliness, and business class catering in the Middle East.


In 2020, the Business Traveller Awards gave top honours to Qatar Airways. The airline was awarded Best Airline, Best Business Class, Best Inflight Food and Beverage, Best Long-Haul Carrier, and Best Middle Eastern Airline. According to Trip Advisor, Qatar also ranks as the Best Airline in the Middle East. The airline also placed second for best inflight entertainment and third for the world’s top economy class products. Emirates was awarded with Best Inflight Entertainment. It also ranked third in Business Traveller’s ranking of best airlines, second for First Class, third for Business Class, and second for Economy Class. Emirates also ranked third best among long-haul carriers and second for best frequent flyer programmes.



Qatar Airways vs Emirates – The verdict


Emirates and Qatar Airways offer extensive route networks and superior inflight experiences. What separates these two leading Middle Eastern airlines is industry recognition. While both have strong reputations, Qatar has the edge. The airline has some of the highest quality products and services available in the industry.


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