Qatar Airways supports inaugural Autism Awareness Gala Fundraiser
As part of its ongoing commitment to social responsibility, Qatar Airways continued its long-standing support of autism awareness at the inaugural Autism Awareness Fundraising Gala hosted by The Embassy of the State of Qatar and Autism Speaks in Washington D.C. on 8 November, 2017.
Established in 2005, Autism Speaks is an organisation dedicated to promoting solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the life span, for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. This is achieved through advocacy and support, increasing understanding and acceptance of people with autism, and advancing research into causes and better interventions for autism spectrum disorder and related conditions.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “Qatar Airways is proud to lend its support to the inaugural Autism Awareness Gala Fundraiser and to join the Embassy of the State of Qatar in continuing efforts to expand autism awareness and create communities that are more inclusive – both on the ground and in the air. We are deeply committed to accommodating all of our passengers on every leg of their journey, which is why we actively educate our staff and crew on how to most effectively offer support to those with autism and their families.”
Held at the iconic John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C., Qatar Airways joined Ambassador of the State of Qatar to the United States, His Excellency Sheikh Meshal Bin Hamad Al-Thani; President and Chief Executive Officer of Autism Speaks, Ms. Angela Geiger, and other distinguished guests, including honourees Congressman Mike Doyle (D-PA), Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ), Ms. Michelle Carbonell and Dr. Vikram Patel to honour the theme of this year’s gala: “Together for Autism: Ensuring Acceptance and Accessibility.”
Qatar Airways further extended its support of Autism Speaks by donating four Business Class tickets to any destination across its extensive route network of 150 global destinations. To keep the momentum of the gala event progressing, the tickets are to be auctioned with the proceeds, as well as the proceeds of the gala, to go directly to Autism Speaks to support its mission.
Autism Speaks President and Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Angela Geiger, said: “The support of global organisations like Qatar Airways is invaluable to the autism community. It is through partnership and collaboration that we can enhance lives today and accelerate a spectrum of solutions for tomorrow. It is encouraging to see Qatar Airways continue to support the autism community, following in the footsteps of the State of Qatar, which has led the world in raising awareness of autism globally. With these two powerhouses lighting the way, we feel confident that mission of Autism Speaks can be achieved.”
In recent years, Qatar Airways has taken a dynamic role in increasing autism awareness through a variety of autism-related initiatives and partnerships. In April, the airline marked World Autism Awareness Day and supported the UN World Autism Awareness campaign by partnering with Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) to offer a program of activities to Qatar Airways’ employees. The activities, designed to increase awareness and deepen the airline’s employees’ understanding of those with autism, included a series of seminars conducted by Hamad Medical Corporation doctors, specialists and therapists for employees to underscore techniques to recognise and support passengers with autism. In addition, Qatar Airways crew visited the Child Development Centre (CDC), a specialised center located at HMC and Katara, to gain a better understanding of the condition.
Qatar Airways is also a proud partner of Doha’s Shafallah Centre for Children with Special Needs to help employ young people with autism. The Shafallah Centre offers comprehensive services and care for individuals with intellectual disabilities and autism spectrum disorder and their families.
One of the world’s fastest growing airlines, Qatar Airways serves a network of more than 150 destinations, with newly-launched additions to Dublin, Republic of Ireland; Nice, France; Sohar, Sultanate of Oman; Prague, Czech Republic and Kyiv, Ukraine; with upcoming services to Chiang Mai, Thailand; Canberra, Australia; Penang, Malaysia and many more.
Celebrating 10 years of service to the United States this year and 20 years of global operations, Qatar Airways serves 10 cities across the U.S., including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C.
The award-winning airline has received a number of accolades this year, including ‘Airline of the Year’ by the prestigious 2017 Skytrax World Airline Awards, which was held at the Paris Air Show. This is the fourth time that Qatar Airways has been given this global recognition. In addition to being voted ‘World’s Best Airline’ by travellers from around the world, Qatar’s national carrier also won a raft of other major awards at the ceremony, including ‘Best Middle East Airline,’ ‘World’s Best Business Class’ and ‘World’s Best First Class Airline Lounge.’