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Qatar Airways Introduces New Inflight Service On Inaugural Hong Kong Route

HONG KONG – Award-winning Qatar Airways is taking the flying experience to new heights on its new Hong Kong – Doha route with the launch of an innovative style of service across the premium cabins of its long-haul fleet of Airbus A330 aircraft.

Already ranked Five Star for high service standards and excellence, Qatar Airways is taking a leap forward in the luxury stakes with the new concept.

Everything from new cabin interiors, signature menus, presentation style, service ethos and even fabric on the seats, has been revamped.

The leading Middle East airline began introducing its Fine Dining experience for passengers travelling in its premium cabins between Doha and London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Manchester and Paris from last October.

Qatar Airways set a planned target to roll out the concept across all its long-haul routes progressively over a period of 12 months.

Hong Kong – Qatar Airways’ 12th Far East route launched on March 26 – became the first Asian service to feature the new inflight service concept with Fine Dining at 35,000ft.

The Hong Kong service is operated daily with Qatar Airways’ state-of-the-art widebody Airbus A330 aircraft in a two-class configuration of up to 24 seats in Business Class and 259 seats in Economy.

First Class cabins are a feature on selected long-haul aircraft on a few routes operating to and from Doha.

Developed over a period of 18 months by Sydney-based Performa, the concept focuses on providing passengers with greater personal attention and treating them with more style onboard.

Gone is the trolley service in First and Business Class to be replaced by a la carte plates individually prepared and served by cabin crew to each passenger.

Glass plates, individual glass bread bowls, chinaware provided by German company Bauscher and cutlery French-designed by Guy Degrenne, all feature in the new service.

Passengers are presented with dining menus specially prepared in leather-bound folders. A selection of champagne and wines from around the world are a feature in both cabins.

Passengers in First Class are served with individual tea sets and have the additional touch of a personal caviar service. First Class passengers have the added luxury of full-size bed pillows, soft white linen mattresses and Australian wool blankets.

Apart from the food service, the cabin interiors have been modified to provide a fresher ‘look and feel’ with the highly visible burgundy corporate colours of the airline evident in the redesigned seat fabrics and curtains.

In addition, there are new new-look amenity kits for premium passengers. Business Class passengers will be handed kits featuring Aigner products while those travelling in First Class will get luxury kits full of Bulgari products.

Speaking at a press conference in Hong Kong today, Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said that despite the airline’s rapid growth, it remained committed to the highest levels of service, comfort and excellence.

“In today’s age of travel, customers are becoming more experienced and more demanding looking for more choice and the highest levels of service,” he said.

“Qatar Airways has raised the stakes and it’s all about expressing sophistication and lifestyle. We want our passengers to enjoy the creature comforts of flying with us and we believe we have taken our service standards to new heights.”

Added Al Baker: “The service is chic and reflects the Fine Dining experience of a Five Star restaurant or luxury hotel. Our award-winning cabin crew have been carefully trained in the new service and we look forward to welcoming our passengers on all our long-haul routes to experience this unique level of service over the next few months.

“Many airlines tend to lose focus with growth. At Qatar Airways, we are committed to maintaining and increasing our service levels. That is what wins and retains customers.

“We are delighted to be launching our Hong Kong route with our brand new inflight service. Hong Kong is a key financial, business and leisure centre which is a must for any airline to serve – and Qatar Airways is no exception.”

A revamp of the Economy Class interiors and in-flight service is also planned during 2006.

Qatar Airways’ fleet of A330-200s and A330-300s have some of the most innovative inflight features in the aviation industry today.

With the biggest individual TV screens of any Middle East airline and the most spacious and modern cabins flying today, Qatar Airways prides itself on providing passengers with its award-winning Five Star service.

The inflight entertainment is fully interactive offering Audio Video On Demand which gives passengers greater control of viewing and listening options.

The stop, pause, rewind and forward functions provide greater flexibility allowing passengers to view movies and TV programmes from around the world at the time of their choice on their personal entertainment system.

Passengers can even create their own personal jukebox, by picking tracks from any of the 250 onboard music CDs and enjoy the flight with an individually-tailored system.

Whether you fly in First Class, Business or Economy, passengers are assured the highest levels of inflight service with the most comfortable seats in the sky. In First Class, passengers can enjoy the comforts of a ‘Five Star restaurant’ by dining on gourmet food with a fellow passenger sitting opposite in one of several ‘buddy’ seats. For that long overnight flight, passengers can relax in the seats that convert 180 degrees, at a push of a button, into fully flat beds.

In Business Class, the electronically-operated seats recline 160 degrees into five different pre-set programmes to provide varied comfort settings. And in Economy Class, a seat pitch of up to 34-inches with footrests and headrests is regarded as the most comfortable of any Middle East carrier.

First Class:

  • Seat-cum-180 degree flat beds in 1-2-1 configuration

  •  79-inch seat pitch

  •  Buddy seats to allow fellow passengers to join you for dinner        

  •  Large 23-inch by 18.5-inch meal table allowing dinner for two

  •  Side cocktail table

  •  Plenty of personal storage space

  •  4 pre-programmed electronic seat controls (aircraft take-off, meal, upright position, fully flat)

  •  Back massage function

  •  Neat finishing ultra grey leather sides

  •  Up to 15-inch personal LCD TV screens

  •  Personal in-seat telephone

  •  Laptop power point

  •  Fibre optic reading light

  •  Seat design joint collaboration between Koito, of Japan, and Dutch firm Driessen

Business Class:

  •  60-inch pitch (55-inch on existing A330-200s)

  •  Seats in 2-2-2 configuration

  •  Seats convert into two-metre bed length

  •  Up to 15-inch personal LCD TV screens

  •  Laptop power point

  •  5 pre-programmed electronic seat controls (aircraft take-off, meal, upright position, relax, sleeping)

  •  Personal in-seat telephone

  •  Seat position memory function

  •  Back massage control functions

  •  Seat design by Recaro, of Germany

Economy Class:

  •  Up to 34-inch seat pitch

  •  Personal in-seat telephone

  •  Ergonomically designed seats to provide more comfort with greater shin space and living space than the existing A330-200s

  •  9-inch personal LCD TV screens

  •  Individual footrests

  •  Seat design by Recaro, of Germany

Qatar Airways currently flies to 70 destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Indian subcontinent and the Far East from its operational hub of Doha, capital of the State of Qatar. With its codeshare partners, the airline serves more than 80 destinations worldwide.

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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