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TA'IF, Saudi Arabia – Qatar Airways yesterday further expanded its operations in Saudi Arabia with the launch of scheduled flights to Ta'if - the airline’s sixth destination in the Kingdom.

Qatar Airways Flight 1206 arrived in Ta'if to an impressive water salute, after which an airport ceremony was attended by local VIPs who welcomed the passengers and operating crew on board the flight. A high level delegation from the airline’s headquarters in Doha, Qatar was led by Fathi Al Shehab, Qatar Airways Senior Vice President GCC, Levant, Iran and Indian Subcontinent.  Fathi Al Shehab was on board the inaugural flight and was met by Abdulbaset M Al-Salafi, Act Director Domestic Airport Operations and Abdul Rhman Al Bathi, Ta'if Airport General Manager.

Fathi Al Shehab thanked the people of Ta'if, local authorities and airport officials for supporting the airline in launching the new route.

“We are pleased to add Ta'if to our growing international network and providing services to the people of this city and its surrounding areas. Qatar Airways will continue exploring new opportunities in Saudi and providing it with new services that will boost its tourism sector,” Fathi Al Shehab said.

“Ta'if is a vital tourist and cultural centre. It is a market rich with business opportunities, heritage and historic sites. I am confident that this city will succeed in attracting tourists and business men alike and I hope our new flights will help them take advantage of the opportunities this city has to offer,” he added.

Qatar Airways will operate four flights a week non-stop from Doha to Ta'if. The addition of this new Saudi city takes the total number of destinations within the airline’s network to 132, providing the people of Ta'if and surrounding areas wider travel choices.

With the new four weekly flights, Qatar Airways now operates 69 flights a week to Saudi.

Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer, Akbar Al Baker said the airline was pleased to open this new gateway to Saudi Arabia.

“During the past few months we succeeded in launching two new destinations in Saudi Arabia – Al Gassim and now Ta'if, which reflects our commitment to reinforcing relations between the State of Qatar and the Kingdom,” Al Baker said.

“We will continue to build bridges between Saudi Arabia and the world as part of our strategy to provide services to flourishing markets underserved by international airlines,” he added.

Qatar Airways new flights offer the people of Ta'if a variety of travel options to more than 130 amazing destinations around the world including London, Paris, Singapore, Bangkok, Beijing, Johannesburg, Melbourne, Delhi and Mumbai.

The Ta'if route is operated with an Airbus A320 in a two-class configuration of 12 seats in Business Class and 132 seats in Economy. The aircraft features seatback TV screens providing all passengers in both cabins with the next generation interactive onboard entertainment system – a choice of more than 800 audio and video on demand options together with an SMS text messaging service from each seat.

Qatar Airways has seen rapid growth in just 16 years of operations, currently flying a modern fleet of 129 aircraft to 132 key business and leisure destinations worldwide.

Besides Ta'if, Qatar Airways has so far launched nine destinations this year – Gassim (Saudi Arabia), Najaf (Iraq), Phnom Penh (Cambodia), Chicago (USA), Salalah (Oman), Basra (Iraq), Sulaymaniyah (Iraq) and Chengdu (China) and Addis Ababa (Ethiopia).

Over the next few months, the network will expand with the addition of Clark International Airport, Philippines (October 27) and Philadelphia, USA (April 2, 2014).

Doha – Ta'if flight schedules, commencing 2 October 2013:

Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday

From Doha      QR1206 at 1255, arriving in Tai’f at 1520
From Ta’if       QR1207 at 1610, arriving in Doha at 1910

For images:


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:
Qatar Airways Group, Corporate Communications Department
Tel: +974 44302072, Fax: +974 44302069
E-mail: qrmedia@qatarairways.com.qa
Website: www.qatarairways.com

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