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QATAR AIRWAYS CEO AKBAR AL BAKER MEETS SCOTTISH FIRST MINISTER, ALEX SALMOND, DURING VISIT TO EDINBURGH AHEAD OF LAUNCH OF SERVICES ON 28 MAY 2014

Qatar Airways To Introduce First Scheduled 787 Dreamliner Service Between Doha And Scotland In May

Al Baker On Official Visit And Tour Of Edinburgh Castle With Lord Provost, The Right Honourable Donald Wilson

26 Mar 2014

DOHA, Qatar – Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer, His Excellency, Mr. Akbar Al Baker conducted a number of high level meetings this week during his visit to Edinburgh, Scotland, ahead of the launch of services between Doha and Edinburgh, which commence on 28 May 2014.

Mr. Al Baker met with Scottish First Minister, Alex Salmond, to discuss the launch of the new services and Scotland’s potential growth prospects.

Mr. Al Baker said that the airline was pleased to be launching services from the city and that Scotland’s tourism industry, along with infrastructure developments and potential business opportunities were key factors leading the airline’s decision to begin flying there.

“Edinburgh is a key gateway to and from Scotland and an important addition to the Qatar Airways global network. I am pleased to have met some of those leaders helping Scotland to further improve its links to the rest of the world as well as grow its infrastructure. I would like to thank everyone who has helped Qatar Airways develop its new service, especially Edinburgh Airport who have assisted our team throughout,” said Mr. Al Baker.

Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer, His Excellency, Mr. Akbar Al Baker, meeting with Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond.

Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer, His Excellency, Mr. Akbar Al Baker, meeting with Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond.

Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer, His Excellency, Mr. Akbar Al Baker, meeting with Edinburgh's Lord Provost, The Right Honourable Donald Wilson.

Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer, His Excellency, Mr. Akbar Al Baker, meeting with Edinburgh's Lord Provost, The Right Honourable Donald Wilson.

First Minister Alex Salmond commented: “I am delighted to welcome the new Qatar Airways service between Edinburgh and Doha – the first direct service from Scotland’s capital to the Middle East.

“The Qatar Airways plans for this route are really exciting. When it is launched in May, it will result in a significant shortening in flight times to Asia and Australasia, reducing the need for domestic transfers within the UK and making it easier for travellers all over the world to get to Scotland whether on business or pleasure.

“Opening up direct international routes such as this from Scottish airports is hugely important to the economy, bringing as it does improved business and tourism connectivity, and the Scottish Government and our agencies will be working hard with the airline to ensure the new route is a success. I look forward to the service beginning in May.”

Over the course of the visit, meetings took place with other senior Scottish officials and dignitaries, including the Lord Provost, The Right Honorable Donald Wilson, and Malcolm Roughead OBE, Chief Executive of Visit Scotland.

Mr. Al Baker and his delegation were taken on an official visit of the City Chambers as well as Edinburgh Castle, and shown many highlights of the historic artifacts of the Scottish capital city.

Qatar Airways also held a press conference at the Balmoral Hotel, to officially announce the forthcoming launch of services from Edinburgh.  Mr. Al Baker announced further details of the new 787 Dreamliner service which is set to significantly reduce journey times from Edinburgh to the airline’s 136 destinations around the world.

Flying direct to and from Edinburgh, the Dreamliner has a two-cabin configuration, comprising of 22 seats in Business Class and 232 Economy Class seats with a high standard of comfort on board, including individual 10.5 inch television screens on all Economy Cass seats and a full complimentary food and beverage service. Passengers will benefit from Qatar Airways’ award-winning inflight hospitality when flying onwards to any of Qatar Airways’ 136 destinations around the world.

Edinburgh will be the airline’s third destination in the UK, preceded by London in 1997 and Manchester in 2003. Qatar Airways currently operates five flights a day from London Heathrow non-stop to Doha and 10 flights per week from Manchester Airport non-stop to Doha. A sixth daily service between Heathrow and Doha will begin on 15th May 2014 on an Airbus A319 offering all-Business Class seating.

Qatar Airways has seen rapid growth in just 17 years of operations, currently flying a modern fleet of 129 aircraft to 136 key business and leisure destinations across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and the Americas.

Over the next few months, the network will grow further with Philadelphia, USA (April 2, 2014), Larnaca, Cyprus (April 29), Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport, Turkey (May 22, 2014), Edinburgh, Scotland (May 28, 2014), Miami, USA (June 10, 2014), Haneda, Japan (June 18, 2014),  Dallas/Fort Worth, USA (July 1, 2014) and Djibouti–Ambouli International Airport, Djibouti (July 27, 2014).

DOHA to EDINBURGH:

Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays
QR 027 departs Doha (DOH) at 08:00; arrives Edinburgh (EDI) at 13:15

EDINBURGH TO DOHA:
Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays
QR 028 departs Edinburgh (EDI) at 14:45; arrives Doha (DOH) at 23:40

Images:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/qatarairways/sets/72157642938668673/

Notes to Editors:

Qatar Airways is the national carrier of the State of Qatar. Currently undergoing rapid expansion, Qatar Airways is one of the fastest growing airlines operating one of the youngest fleets in the world. Now in its 17th year of operations, Qatar Airways has a modern fleet of 129 aircraft flying to 136 key business and leisure destinations across six continents.

On October 30, 2013, Qatar Airways joined the oneworld Alliance, becoming the first Gulf carrier to join a global airline alliance, enabling its customers to benefit from almost 1,000 airports in more than 150 countries, with 14,000 daily departures.

Award-winning carrier Qatar Airways was presented with three honours at the annual Skytrax 2013 World Airline Awards held during the Paris Air Show at Le Bourget, France, last June. The airline was awarded World’s Best Business Class, World’s Best Business Class Lounge and, for the second consecutive year, Best Airline Staff Service in the Middle East.

During the 2013 Dubai Air Show the airline placed orders for more than 60 new aircraft – a mixture of Boeing 777X and Airbus A330 Freighters. In total the airline has 300 aircraft on order worth more than US $50 billion. The airline will move into its new hub and home, Hamad International Airport, from mid 2014. For more information, visit www.qatarairways.com.

For further information contact:
Qatar Airways Group, Corporate Communications Department
Tel: +974 40222072, Fax: +974 40225350
Website: www.qatarairways.com

Perowne Charles Communications
Paul Charles / Katie Francis / Emily Cramer,
Tel: +44 207 792 8884
qatarairways@verypcc.com