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Qatar Airways CEO Hails Extension Of Global Footprint To Canada

Montreal, CANADA – Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker spoke of the airline’s entry into the Canadian market as a significant step in its expansion strategy, further cementing the award-winning carrier’s global footprint.

The launch of long-awaited non-stop scheduled flights between the airline’s Doha hub and Montreal – Canada’s second largest city – would “hopefully be the start of more things to come in Canada”, he said.

Montreal is the eighth new route launched by the Five Star-ranked carrier – also named last week as Airline of the Year 2011 – with a further seven destinations being added by November.

Speaking at a press conference in Montreal, Al Baker reiterated the rapid pace at which the airline is growing, substantiated by the upcoming new routes, increased frequency and additional aircraft orders announced at the Paris Air Show last week.

“Qatar Airways has strategically positioned itself as a global connector, flying passengers seamlessly across continents, from East to West in comfort and style, with service onboard that I am sure will impress the Canadian market,” he said.

“By entering Canada, Qatar Airways is giving the travelling public more choice and more options they fully deserve. But with only three flights a week to Montreal, we are constrained by the limited capacity.

“Qatar Airways would look to expand its presence in Canada with additional capacity in response to a growing passenger base here, who travel to many destinations we serve across the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific. This will not only benefit the travelling public, but also serve as a huge job creation opportunity and boost local economies.

“We are among shining stars from the Middle East and will continue to explore new growth opportunities to cater for growing air travel demand.”

Added Al Baker: “Last week’s endorsement by the prestigious industry audit Skytrax naming Qatar Airways as Airline of the Year 2011 in their annual awards only confirmed the travelling public’s faith in our outstanding inflight product and operational excellence.

“Qatar Airways beat stiff competition from four Asian carriers in the category to cling the top honour. For an airline that has achieved so much in the 14 short few years it has been operating, winning countless awards for service and excellence, is a remarkable achievement.”

The Doha - Montreal route is operated by the airline’s long-haul flagship aircraft, the Boeing 777, featuring 42 seats in Business Class and 217 in Economy. Each seat onboard features individual television screens with an in-flight audio and video system offering more than 900 entertainment options.

Montreal becomes the airline’s fourth destination in North America. It currently operates daily flights to New York, Washington and Houston direct from Doha, the second busiest airport in the Gulf region.

Over the next few months, Qatar Airways launches flights to the following destinations, further strengthening its global reach. Medina (Saudi Arabia) on July 14; Kolkata, formerly known as Calcutta (India) on July 27; Sofia (Bulgaria) on September 14; Oslo (Norway) on October 5; Entebbe (Uganda) on November 2; Baku (Azerbaijan) and Tbilisi (Georgia) on November 30.

Qatar Airways now flies to over 100 diverse business and leisure destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, North America and South America with a modern fleet of 98 aircraft. During the Paris Air Show last week, Qatar Airways placed orders with Boeing for six additional 777s.

The Qatar Airways’ group of companies includes a corporate jet division, Qatar Executive, which operates four all-new Canadian-built Bombardier aircraft.

The Doha-based executive jet operation, which began in 2009 with two Bombardier Challenger 605s, has received an exceptional response in the corporate market.

It also operates a Global Express XRS and Global 5000 with a further two corporate jets due to be delivered over the next few weeks. Qatar Executive recently opened a new dedicated 6,300 square metre maintenance hangar at Doha International Airport, where the Qatar Executive maintenance team also serves other business aircraft operators.

The DOHA – MONTREAL schedules with effect from June 29:

Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays

Depart Doha               QR927 at 0830 hrs, arrive Montreal 1450 hrs                                   

Depart Montreal          QR928 at 2315 hrs, arrive Doha 1845 hrs next day                         

Qatar Airways operates one of the youngest fleet of aircraft in the skies today. It has orders worth over US$ 40 billion for more than 200 aircraft, including Boeing 787s, 777s, Airbus A350s, A380s, A320 Family of aircraft and Bombardier corporate jets. The rapid expansion of Qatar Airways prompted the State of Qatar to embark on one of its biggest projects – the construction of a brand new international airport in Doha, which is scheduled to open in 2012. For more information on Qatar Airways, visit www.qatarairways.com

Qatar Airways Corporate Communications
Tel: +974 44496956, Fax: +974 44620132
E-mail: qrmedia@qatarairways.com.qa

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