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DOHA, Qatar – Qatar Airways announced it will begin flights to Ta’if, in the Mecca province of Saudi Arabia, beginning 2 October 2013. The non-stop service from Doha will operate four-times-a-week.
“For nearly 20 years we have been steadily growing our presence and services to Saudi Arabia,” said Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker. “As our sixth destination, Ta’if will bring additional connectivity for passengers connecting from Asia, the Middle East and GCC countries.”
The Doha – Ta’if route will be operated by a state-of-the-art Airbus A320 with an average travel duration time of just over two hours. The aircraft will feature 144 seats in a two-class configuration of 12 seats in Business Class and 132 seats in Economy. Selected aircraft will feature seatback TV screens, providing passengers with the next generation interactive on board entertainment system, featuring a choice of more than 800 audio and video on-demand options, together with an SMS text messaging service from each seat.
The launch marks the continued expansion of services by Qatar Airways to Saudi Arabia since it began in 1997 with non-stop flights to Jeddah. Since then the airline has added Riyadh, Dammam, Madinah and Gassim to its portfolio of destinations.
A View of Al Shafa Village
Ta'if Rose Plantation
Those wishing to visit Ta’if have a variety of cultural and outdoor activities to add to their trip. They include:
• Al Rudaf Park: Located south of Tai’f is a large natural park where clumps of tree lie scattered amidst magnificent weathered granite rocks. The site also has a small zoo.
• Ta'if Rose Plantation: In the month of April the rose fields are filled with these small fragrant pink roses that are picked at dawn and later distilled into expensive ta'if rose oil. Ta'if perfume has been used in several luxury perfumes including Ormonde Jayne Perfumery, Chanel and Guerlain.
• Shubra Palace: the regional museum of Ta'if, located in a building of around 1900, which served King Abdul Aziz as a lodging in the 1930s at several places on this page about Tai’f .
• Rock Carving Site: Located 40 km (25 mi) north of Ta’if, is Okaz Souk, the site of the largest and most well-known of the pre-Islamic souqs or gathering places. The souq was a scene for annual social, political and commercial gatherings. It was also the location of competitive recitation of poetry and prose. The buildings remain, including prominent outlines of walls of basaltic stone.
• Nature Reserve: At the top of Al Hada mountain is a large nature preserve at an elevation of 2100 meters above sea level. Al Hada means tranquility and this preserve of trees and plants offers a true respite. It is also good location to catch the sunset over the mountain.
• Al Shafa: A small village situated high upon the Sarawat mountains at an elevation of 2200 to 2500 meters above sea level, rich in agricultural products. The fruit gardens of Tai’f are located here. Great view for camera buffs and for those with an adventurous heart, try a camel ride.
Qatar Airways will begin operations to/from Tai’f (TIF) as per below schedule effective 2 October 2013:
Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday
QR1206 Departs DOH 12:55 Arrives TIF 15:20
QR1207 Departs TIF 16:10 Arrives DOH 19:10
When added in October, the new services will bring the carrier’s global network to 131 destinations worldwide.
Qatar Airways has seen rapid growth in just 16 years of operations, currently flying a modern fleet of 129 aircraft to 129 key business and leisure destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and The Americas.
Qatar Airways has so far launched seven destinations – Gassim (Saudi Arabia), Najaf (Iraq), Phnom Penh (Cambodia), Chicago (USA), Salalah (Oman), Basra (Iraq) and most recently, Sulaymaniyah (Iraq).
Over the next few weeks and months, the network will grow further with Chengdu, China (September 3), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (September 18), Clark International Airport, Philippines (October 27) and Philadelphia, USA (2 April 2014).
For press release images: http://www.flickr.com/photos/qatarairways/sets/72157635239244728/
Notes to Editors:
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 in 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. The airline has also been named Best Airline in the Middle East for the seventh year in a row, and its Premium Terminal at Doha International Airport named Best Premium Service Airport for the third consecutive year in 2013. Qatar Airways has also twice been recipient of the prestigious Skytrax Airline of the Year Award in 2011 and 2012.
Skytrax is the only global independent passenger survey monitoring airline standards and is considered the ultimate benchmark for excellence in the airline industry.
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. Qatar Airways will become the first of the major Gulf carriers to join a global alliance having been invited into the oneworld group. For more information, visit www.qatarairways.com
For further information contact:
Qatar Airways Group, Corporate Communications Department
Tel: +974 44302072, Fax: +974 44302069