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Zurich, Istanbul And Luxor Next On The List Of Destinations For Qatar Airways

Doha, Qatar : One of the world's fastest growing airlines, Qatar Airways, will add four prestigious global destinations to its rapidly growing list this year, according to the airline's Chief Executive Officer, Akbar Al Baker.

Al Baker said Qatar Airways will fly to Luxor, Istanbul, Zurich and Kabul, this summer.

He made the announcement during a joint press conference held with Dr Majdi Sabri, IATA's Regional Vice-President for the Middle East, who was in Doha on behalf of the global air travel association, to congratulate Qatar Airways on completing ten successful years of existence

The airline has been expanding rapidly adding some ten destinations towards the end of last year to reach 48. That trend is being continued well into this year with a target of serving more than 60 major worldwide destinations by the end of 2004, said the Qatar Airways CEO.

"In June, we will begin flights to Luxor in Egypt and to Istanbul in Turkey. The following month, in July, we will begin a new service to Zurich in Switzerland. In November we will begin flights to Kabul in Afghanistan," said Al Baker.

"A lot has changed at Qatar Airways. The airline that was first launched is a very different airline to the one that now reaches into the skies," he pointed out.

The Qatar Airways CEO highlighted the major milestones; the award-winning airline has passed in its young journey.

"One of the key milestones was the Qatari Government's decision to become a shareholder in the airline. His Highness the Emir, has a strong vision for our country. He has rightly foreseen that the development of Qatar Airways would facilitate the economic and social growth of Qatar.

H.H. Emir's Vision

"And it's because of His Highness' vision that Qatar Airways has become the success that it is today. Qatar Airways has truly become the flagship of our nation. It represents our aspirations of growth and our commitment to deliver the best," Al Baker pointed out.

He said the other significant milestone occurred in 1997, when Qatar Airways was relaunched. "We reintroduced Qatar Airways with a very strong focus on the customer, on innovation and an eye for small details. And it is because of this, that the Oryx on our tail fin has become a symbol for airline quality," said the airline CEO.

He pointed out that 1997 was the year that the airline began its expansion.

Rapid Expansion

"If you had told me then that in 2004 we would have 29 aircraft in our fleet, and be flying to 48 destinations, I would not have believed you. If you had told me that by 2008 we would have a fleet of 52 aircraft, servicing more than 60 international destinations, I would have thought that rather over-ambitious," Al Baker said.

"But today, I see those dreams come true. Qatar Airways is of one of the fastest growing airlines in the world today," he pointed out.

The four new destinations announced today are just a precursor of much more to come from the young airline.

"There is no doubt in my mind that Qatar Airways will offer new surprises in the next year and the next 10 years," the airline CEO concluded.

Qatar Airways presently has a fleet of 29 Airbus aircraft that includes: five A330s, 12 A320s, nine A300s, one A300 cargo freighter, and two A319 Corporate Jetliners.

Three leased A320s will be retired from the Qatar Airways fleet during 2004.

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

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