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Qatar Airways Receives Four Accolades At The World Travel Awards 2006

Doha, QATAR – Award-winning Qatar Airways boosted its tally of international honours by grabbing four key titles at the prestigious 13th World Travel Awards (WTA) during a glittering ceremony in the Caribbean islands of the Turks and Caicos.

The Doha-based airline picked up awards for World’s Leading Business Class Airline, World Leading Airline Inflight Meal Service, Leading Airline in the Middle East as well as Leading Middle East Business Class Airline. The airline gained extensive praise at the Travel industry’s equivalent to the Oscar’s and triumphed being the Leading Airline in the Middle East as well as for gaining the World’s Best Inflight Meal Service for the second year in a row.

As one of the world’s youngest and fastest growing airlines, the achievements are seen as remarkable in the short few years since Qatar Airways’ relaunch in 1997 from a small regional carrier with a handful of routes to a global airline covering 70 destinations.

More than 350 guests representing the crème de la crème of the world’s travel industry – from hoteliers, airlines and cruise lines to tourist boards, travel agents and tour operators – attended the lavish World Travel Awards ceremony at the famous Beaches Resort in the Turks and Caicos.

Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said, “We are honoured to receive the four prominent awards, which reflect the sharp rise in global recognition for Qatar Airways.

We have made huge strides in a highly competitive aviation world to become one of the best airlines in the skies today and, it is indeed a great privilege to find ourselves being honoured for our commitment to deliver the highest levels of passenger service,” he said.

“This recognition clearly demonstrates our ability to prove to the global marketplace that Qatar Airways can successfully compete in the international arena and prove our standards are among the best in the world.”

Al Baker who was being named Airline Personality of the Year at the World Travel Awards 2005 last year in London has been instrumental in guiding Qatar Airways into a powerful airline in Middle East aviation and a leading global carrier since being appointed CEO in 1997. He has single-handedly shaped the airline into an award-winning regional and international carrier from its operational hub of Doha, capital of the State of Qatar. Having just welcomed the first brand new Airbus A340-600 to its fleet, the airline will boost the number of aircraft to more than 50 by the end of 2006. The new A340-600 HGW (High Gross Weight) aircraft has a three-class cabin layout with innovative onboard features such as dedicated First and Business Class lounges for passengers travelling in the premium cabins to unwind and relax. With unique onboard facilities such as live television, beamed inflight to every passenger’s personal entertainment system, Qatar Airways’ award-winning Five Star service has once again been taken to new heights. The enhancements are part of an on-going product revamp that began last autumn with the roll-out of a new style of onboard service that removed the traditional trolley service across the airline’s premium cabins on long-haul flights.

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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