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CHENGDU, China – High level meetings between Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker and the Mayor of Chengdu Municipality, Mr. Ge Honglin, took place last week as Qatar Airways launched their newest direct route to Chengdu on September 3.
Mr. Al Baker and Mr. Honglin were joined by the Assistant Mayor of Chengdu Municipality Secretary-General of Chengdu Municipality Mr. Men Sheng; Director-General, Logistic Office of Chengdu Municipal People’s Government, Mr. Chen Zhongwei; Director-General, Tourism Bureau of Chengdu Municipal People’s Government, Mr. Liu Qiang; Deputy Director-General, Foreign Affairs Office of Chengdu Municipal People’s Government, Mr. Zhong Laizhao and Deputy General Manager, Shuangliu Airport Limited Company, Mr. Zhao Wu.
Qatar Airways CEO (left) with the Mayor of Chengdu
Over the course of the visit, Al Baker said that the airline was pleased to add Chengdu as their sixth destination in China helping to bring the total number of Qatar Airways flights into China up to 41 a week.
“We are extremely excited to now be flying into Chengdu, allowing us to contribute not only to the economy of Chengdu and the surrounding areas, but by also creating new jobs and bringing more tourists to this dynamic city,” commented Al Baker afterwards.
“We hope the launch of our direct flights to Chengdu is just the beginning of a strong relationship with the city. With approximately half of the Fortune 500 companies with a presence in Chengdu, Qatar Airways recognizes the importance of this destination for not just tourism, but business as well. We hope that the Chengdu government will work with us in helping to eventually increase our frequencies to daily flights, and in turn helping us to better serve our customers and the city of Chengdu.”
The Mayor of Chengdu Municipality, Mr. Honglin was very pleased with the arrival of Qatar Airways, which is currently flying into Chengdu three times a week.
“For a long time Chengdu has only been known as a leisure destination, but more recently it has been really making a name for itself as a place for key business opportunities as well. As we move forward, we need to work with partners who will help facilitate the growth of Chengdu, and Qatar Airways is one of those partners.
“We will work closely with Mr. Al Baker and Qatar Airways to do what we can to help increase frequencies – hopefully to daily flights – in order to meet the demand of their customers, which in turn will benefit the city of Chengdu and our local economy,” said Honglin.
Qatar Airways has seen rapid growth in just 16 years of operations, currently flying a modern fleet of 129 aircraft to 130 key business and leisure destinations worldwide.
Qatar Airways has so far launched eight destinations this year – Gassim (Saudi Arabia), Najaf (Iraq), Phnom Penh (Cambodia), Chicago (USA), Salalah (Oman), Basra (Iraq), Sulaymaniyah (Iraq) and Chengdu, (China).
Over the next few months, the network will expand with the addition of further destinations – Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (September 18), Ta’if, Saudi Arabia (October 2), Clark International Airport, Philippines (October 27), and Philadelphia, USA (April 2, 2014).
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Qatar Airways currently has orders worth over US$50 billion for more than 250 aircraft, including Boeing 787s, 777s, Airbus A350s, A380s and A320 Family of aircraft. In addition to winning Skytrax’s prestigious Airline of the Year 2011 and 2012, Qatar Airways was named Best Airline in the Middle East for the seventh year in a row, and its Premium Terminal at Doha International Airport was named Best Premium Service Airport for the third consecutive year in 2013. Skytrax is the only global independent passenger survey monitoring airline standards and is considered the ultimate benchmark for excellence in the airline industry.