Qatar Airways responds to Russia probe

Two former Qatar Airways employees based in Russia have been found guilty of charges relating an abuse of authority.

Nazir Abduvakhidov, previously the carrier’s most senior representative within the country, and Russian sales chief Rostislav Petrov had criminal charges filed against them relating to an unauthorised website selling flight tickets via intermediaries to corporate clients. The original criminal case has since been dropped after the pair paid damages following a guilty plea, however the airline has suggested that additional evidence could yet follow, forming the basis of new investigations.

Boeing 787-8 [Qatar Airways]
Qatar Airways Boeing 787-8, registration A7-BCP (c/n 38334/207) in flight. Qatar Airways

A spokesperson for the Doha-based firm commented: “Qatar Airways is satisfied with the court decision on this particular case and that both Abduvakhidov and Petrov pleaded guilty and have compensated for the damage caused by their business activities. Currently Qatar Airways is preparing further documents and materials on other incidents and serious violations by the two individuals to be transferred to law enforcement agencies of the Russian Federation.”

Qatar Airways has boosted its footprint within the Russian market in recent years, and currently flies to Moscow/Domodedovo International Airport with up to three daily rotations, supplemented by a daily connection linking Saint Petersburg/Pulkovo with its Doha hub. While the carrier typically rosters narrowbody Airbus examples for the mid-haul flights, it also flies its Boeing 787 Dreamliner on select services to and from the Russian capital.