Qatar Airways is ranked as one of the best airlines in the world and has received numerous awards for its onboard service.
While expectations on their cabin crew are very high, so are the rewards and to this end, Qatar Airways offers an excellent salary and benefits package.
Qatar Airways flight attendants start out at 7,000 QAR – 13,000 QAR (USD $1,922 – $3,570) a month. The salary is tax-free and includes basic payment, flight hours, and layover allowance. More senior flight attendants can earn upward of 18,000 QAR ($5,000).
The structure of our salaries can be somehow difficult to calculate, so I’ll do my best to break them down in the most comprehensive way.
The Qatar cabin crew salary consists of: Basic pay + Flying hours + Layover Allowance
To explain these three elements in detail.
➡️ Basic pay
This is the fixed monthly amount paid to every employee every month before any extras are added or deducted.
➡️ Flying hours
This is how many hours you fly per month, calculated from the actual time an aircraft leaves the blocks and pushes back from the gate to the time it arrives (and is blocked in) at the gate at its destination.
Essentially, this means from the time the plane’s wheels start rolling at the start of the journey until they stop rolling at the end of it.
➡️ Layover Allowance
This is a daily meal allowance paid when the crew has to stay in another city
Because the last two – flying hours and layover allowance – are variable, the pay fluctuates from month to month.
But you will be looking at around 10,000 QAR ($2,746) on average per month in total.
This is the basic structure of the career path with Qatar.
As you can see, it’s pretty straightforward and relies heavily on experience.
There are no shortcuts, you must do the hours and gain the know-how in order to move up the ladder.
Cabin Crew F2 (Economy Class): After approximately 1 year and a half, or 2 years you can upgrade to,
Cabin Crew F1 (Business): where you will spend 1 -2 years, then to,
Cabin crew F1 (First Class) 1-2 years experience and then,
Cabin Senior CS where you will be in charge of either the Economy crew/cabin or Business crew/cabin. Then, after approximately 2-3 years, you can apply for
Cabin Services Director CSD/Purser. Top rung on the ladder. The purser is in charge of the whole aircraft.
The basic salary for a new hire is 3,800 QAR ($1,042) per month for the first 6 probationary months.
After that, the basic salary rises to 4,000 QAR ($1,098).
Obviously, the higher you move up in the career path, the more money you’ll earn.
But typically it will take you 6 or more years to reach the highest pay grade as cabin crew.
So there are rewards for every step in the career path and a clear way forward for those who want to progress.
Flight hours are an important factor in calculating your pay.
It’s really important to get your head around the fact that you’ll only get paid for the hours spent in flight.
You don’t get paid for the time spent pre-flight in the pre-flight briefing, for boarding, pre-takeoff duties and disembarking.
This all comes with the territory and should be considered as just a normal facet of your work as a flight attendant.
On average you will fly 90-120 hours a month, but it could be more.
Compared to other airlines, this is quite a lot. But it does mean bigger paychecks and the opportunity to save a lot of all that tax-free money.
Let’s do a ‘back of the envelope’ calculation.
If you fly 96 hours this month and you are paid at the rate of 50 QAR ($13.70) per hour, then
96 hours x 50 QAR ($13.70) = 4,800 QAR ($1,315) just for your flight hours.
You will then have to add in the layover allowance pay, which is a meal allowance paid when crew stay in cities other than the one which is their home base.
Firstly, you don’t always have layovers.
If you have a short flight you’ll probably come back to base.
That’s called turnaround flight.
For example, Doha-Kuwait is only a 1 hour 25 min flight, you’ll fly back to Doha on the same day.
In this case, you don’t get the allowance pay because you are going back to your own base.
But if you do a longer flight, you’ll probably have to stay at the final destination.
This means that your hotel accommodation will be provided for nothing and a layover allowance will be paid.
The allowance paid varies according to the cost of living in the country in which the layover takes place.
Here is an example of how the cost of living in a country can affect the amount of money you receive in allowance pay.
Bangkok: 180 QAR = $49.44 per day
Paris: 400 QAR = $109 per day
That’s over a 100% difference between what you would get for a layover in Paris compared to what you would receive in Bangkok.
But it’s a fair calculation because what you are getting paid reflects how much your costs are going to be.
Anyone who has bought a meal in Paris as well as one in Bangkok knows just how much cheaper it is to eat in the Thai capital.
At the end of the month, you’ll average between $300 – $500 in allowance pay.
This will be included in your monthly salary, but with some airlines, e.g. Emirates, you get paid in cash at each destination.
Average Salary Sample in Qatar Airways
Let’s put all that together and crunch the numbers.
Here is a monthly salary sample for a new hire at Qatar Airways:
Let’s take the previous example of having clocked up 96 flying hours for the month and add in 5 trips allowances.
Basic pay: 3,800 QAR ($1,043)
Flying 96 hours: 4,800 QAR ($1,315)
Allowance: between 1,092 QAR ($300) and 1,820QAR ($500)
Total pay per month = 9,692 QAR ($2,661) to 10,420 QAR ($2,861)
Remember that the above calculation is the salary component of your remuneration package.
Apart from this, you’ll get other attractive benefits.
In money terms, these can add up to being quite substantial.
- Accommodation, your own room, in a shared apartment with 2-3 people with all bills paid except for the internet. This is usually divided up between the flatmates.
- Transportation to and from work
- Discounts at the airport shops, and in shops and hotels all over Doha
- Discount tickets for you and your family on flights. But these are only if there are available any unallocated seats.
- Once a year one free confirmed ticket to your home country
- Free Laundry (for your uniform)
- 30 days leave per year
- Free insurance card worldwide
- Medical insurance, which included dental work
As I say, these benefits translate into real money when you examine them. Travel to and from work, for instance, is a large cost for many employees. But with Qatar, this is all taken care of for you.
When you complete your recruitment training and medicals, you’ll be given a joining date and Qatar will pay for:
- Your ticket to Doha (Qatar)
- Your visa fees
- All training paid for at the basic rate of salary
- And on your first day there you’ll get a welcome bonus of 2,000 QAR ($549.30)
- A three-year open-ended contract,
- Travel concessions on Qatar Airways and partner airlines.
As I said, Qatar Airways has high expectations of its staff because they are consistently ranked as one of the best airlines in the world.
But in exchange for those expectations, they reward their employees with a salary and benefits package that is second to none in the aviation industry.