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Qatar Airways Makes Middle East Debut Of New First Class Interiors And New Exhibition Stand

Dubai, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Qatar Airways has made the regional debut of its new-look First Class interiors and exhibition stand at the biggest travel fair in the Middle East.

Arabian Travel Market (ATM) attracts the crème de la crème of the regional travel industry, from airlines, hotels, car rental companies and tourist boards to travel agents, tour operators and media from around the Middle East and rest of the world.

The four-day international show, which began in Dubai today, provides Qatar Airways with the opportunity to showcase its award-winning Five Star hospitality to visitors and fellow exhibitors. ATM is taking place at the Dubai World Trade Centre in the heart of the city’s business district.

Visitors to ATM are being given a preview of a mock-up of Qatar Airways’ revolutionary First Class lounge, which will be introduced on the first of its new Airbus A340-600s being delivered this summer.

The onboard lounge allows passengers to relax and eat in the comfort of their very own exclusive area at 35,000ft. Epitomizing luxury and innovation, the new First Class lounge promises to be one of the best in the air when it takes to the skies this summer.

Qatar Airways is also showing its new aircraft livery, a striking look that sees the word ‘QATAR’ emblazoned across the fuselage in large bold burgundy-coloured letters and the tail fin painted with an image of the Oryx, national animal and icon of Qatar. The changes – the first since its relaunch in 1997 – reflect the confidence of the airline, moving from a small regional player of just nine years ago to a full-service award-winning international carrier.

Qatar Airways is the launch customer of the High Gross Weight version of the Airbus A340-600, which will be used to operate non-stop flights between Doha and Europe and the United States. The new livery will be rolled out from this summer with the arrival of the first A340-600. It will be progressively introduced on other aircraft as they are delivered, while the existing fleet of 46 aircraft will be repainted over a 12-month period.

At ATM, Qatar Airways is exhibiting a 200sqm two-tier steel and glass structure – its biggest ever stand. The design concept reflects the theme of the New Doha International Airport, due to open in 2009.

The ceiling of the exhibition stand has a dramatic wavy structure, mirroring the design of the new airport that takes it inspiration from the sea. The new airport is being built on reclaimed land from the Arabian Gulf. There will also be angled glass walls to reflect large volumes of space. The upper floor of the exhibition stand features a bar and a VIP meeting area with plenty of hospitality space.

As the Official Airline Partner of the 15th Asian Games, being held in Doha over a two-week period in December 2006, Qatar Airways is also unveiling its new marketing material promoting the sporting spectacle.

Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker is heading a delegation of officials from the airline’s corporate headquarters in Doha to ATM in Dubai.

“On behalf of Qatar Airways, I am delighted to once again be participating at Arabian Travel Market, which has grown into the most important travel show in the region,” he said.

“This is an excellent opportunity for visitors to see first hand Qatar Airways’ new First Class lounge which is being introduced on our brand new A340-600 aircraft. Our latest products are on show at ATM and, of course, visitors can experience our superb Arabic hospitality that we are so renowned for around the world.

“As a major player in the Middle East and, indeed, around the world, Qatar Airways strongly believes in making its presence felt at shows like ATM. These highly important shows enable us to network with the travel trade and corporates from around the world under one roof.”

He added: “The UAE is a key feeder market for Qatar Airways which has a total of 77 flights a week from Abu Dhabi and Dubai to Doha, offering excellent connections to destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Indian sub-continent and the Far East.”

Qatar Airways currently operates a modern fleet of 46 all-Airbus aircraft to 70 destinations from its hub in Doha, capital of the State of Qatar. Daily flights between Doha and Hong Kong were launched in March, marking the airline’s historic 70th route.

Qatar Airways operates a total of 77 flights a week between Doha and the United Arab Emirates. Of these, Qatar Airways operates seven flights daily to Dubai and four flights a day to Abu Dhabi.

Doha-based Qatar Airways will operate a fleet of 110 aircraft by 2013 – almost double the existing size. Qatar Airways has ordered 80 Airbus A350s, 60 Boeing 787s and 32 Boeing 777s, with deliveries of the latter having started in November 2007. The airline is a launch customer of the twin-deck Airbus A380 ‘super jumbos’ with five aircraft on order and scheduled for delivery from 2010. Qatar Airways moves to the New Doha International Airport in 2010, when the first phase of the new facility opens. For more information, visit www.ndiaproject.com

Qatar Airways is one of only six airlines in the world with a Five Star ranking for service and excellence awarded by Skytrax, the independent aviation industry monitoring agency. Skytrax also named Qatar Airways’ cabin crew as Best in the Middle East for the fifth year running in 2007 following a survey of more than 15 million passengers worldwide. For more information, log onto www.qatarairways.com

Qatar Airways Corporate Communications
Tel: +974 4496956, Fax: +974 4620132
E-mail: qrmedia@qatarairways.com.qa

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