Sundeep Bhutoria

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ess bee

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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Qatar Airways function

Yesterday afternoon I took a flight to Jaipur and returned this evening. Thanks to the wedding season, the Kolkata-Jaipur flights, both ways, were full. When it comes to weddings, Udaipur and Jaipur are very hot destinations.
There was a wedding function of a Kolkata-based family and I met quite a few people from Kolkata, not only on the flight but also at the Rajputana Sheraton coffee shop.
I landed in Kolkata at about 9:30 pm and headed straight for Hotel Taj Bengal to attend an event hosted by Qatar Airways. The CEO of Qatar Airways Mr Akbar Al Baker is in Kolkata and about 200 people were invited at the Taj banquet.
I knew that the Indian office of the company has been working very hard for this evening. They had blocked this date months in advance to invite people and were in constant touch to ensure the guests’ presence.
That is why, despite being late, I made it a point to go there and meet Mr Al Baker though the event had started at 7 pm. By the time I reached the Taj the dinner was over and Sunidhi Chauhan was on stage. I shared the table with Bickram and Jaya Ghosh and Usha Uthup. I sat through a couple of songs, met the CEO and returned home.
The CEO was very happy with the response they got in Kolkata and plans are on to introduce a bigger aircraft. Myself being a frequent overseas traveler, this was music to my ears, especially after so many airlines closed down their Kolkata operations in recent times. One thing that caught my attention later was the packet given to the guests at the departure gate. I thought it must be some literature but when I opened the packet at home I found it was a Mont Blanc passport case.
I was very surprised by such an expensive gift given by an airliner to all the invitees. Weddings and some social functions aside, I don't recollect any occasion in India where such an expensive gift was given just for attending the function.
ess bee

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