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Doha, QATAR – The State of Qatar’s Emir and Patron of this year’s 70th International Air Transport Association (IATA) Annual General Meeting (AGM) and World Air Transport Summit, His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani today inaugurated the much-awaited global aviation conference in the capital Doha.

The three-day conference being held at the Ritz Carlton Hotel on June 1-3, is being hosted by Qatar Airways and has gathered more than 1,000 aviation industry delegates, as well as 200 international media.

His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani welcomed the IATA 70th AGM dignitaries who came from around the world to Qatar for discussion of aviation-related issues, highlighting the governments’ role in supporting and enforcing the aviation industry locally, regionally and globally.

The opening session was attended by a number of dignitaries and senior officials headed by His Excellency Abdullah bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Chief of the Emiri Diwan; His Excellency Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Prime Minister and Qatar’s Minister of Interior; His Excellency Mr. Ali Shareef Al Emadi, Minister of Finance; His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer; H.E. Sheikh Abdulrahman bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al-Thani, Minister of Municipality and Urban Planning; H.E. Mr. Jassim Saif Ahmed Al Sulaiti, Minister of Transport; H.E. Sheikh Khaled bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Manager of His Highness’ Office; H.E. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum‎, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates; H.E. Mr. Abdul Aziz Al Noaimi, Chairman Qatar Civil Aviation Authority; H.E. Mr. Issa Al Mohannadi, Chairman Qatar Tourism Authority;  Tony Tyler, IATA Director General and Chief Executive Officer; Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, President of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO); Jeh Johnson, US Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Ambassadors to the State of Qatar from the US, Japan, the UK, France and Algeria.

His Excellency Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani delivered his welcome note at the IATA AGM opening session, commenting: “Thanks to conferences like this today, airlines are able to commence their journey towards ultimate safety, optimize operational performance and spread awareness among key stakeholders on the importance of aviation in terms of long-term sustainability, with the ultimate goal of making our world feel like a small village.”

The IATA AGM serves as a central platform and meeting point for discussion on aviation-related issues as more than 230 airlines around the world are members of this esteemed association.

Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker extended his warm gratitude to the Emir of the State of Qatar, His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani for inaugurating the conference.

“The selection of the city of Doha to host this reputable aviation event reflects the international confidence in Qatar’s continued success and ability to host various international events.

“The IATA AGM this year will definitely enhance the reputation and prominent stature achieved by the State of Qatar, thanks to the directives of the country’s leader His Highness The Emir," said Mr. Al Baker.

He added that the convening of the IATA AGM in Doha this year is particularly important given the fact that this year’s key agenda will be safety and air traffic management.

Qatar Airways, the country’s national airline has seen rapid growth in just 17 years of operation, to the point where today it is flying a modern fleet of 134 aircraft to 141 key business and leisure destinations across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, North America and South America.

Over the next few months, the network will grow further with new routes to Miami, USA (June 10, 2014), Haneda, Japan (June 18, 2014), Dallas/Fort Worth, USA (July 1, 2014) and Djibouti (July 27, 2014).

For images:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/qatarairways/sets/72157644977491815/

Notes to Editors:

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 14,250 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. For more information, visit our homepage www.qatarairways.com or our sites on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, and YouTube.

For Qatar Airways corporate images, please click here: http://www.qatarairways.com/corporateimages

For further information contact:
Qatar Airways Group, Corporate Communications Department
Tel: +974 40222072, Fax: +974 40225350
E-mail: qrmedia@qatarairways.com.qa
Website: www.qatarairways.com

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