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Qatar Airways Extends Reach In UK And Mainland Europe

London, UK – Award-winning Qatar Airways, one of the fastest growing airlines in the world, has implemented a codeshare agreement with bmi, the UK’s second largest scheduled carrier, to increase its presence in the UK and continental Europe.

The deal effectively extends Qatar Airways’ reach in the UK and Irish markets to seven additional destinations and a further two on the European mainland using feeder services of bmi.

Qatar Airways, the national carrier of Qatar, currently flies from Doha in the Arabian Gulf to 53 destinations across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Indian subcontinent and the Far East.

Under the new agreement, Qatar Airways’ QR designated flight code between Doha, capital of the State of Qatar, and both London Heathrow and Manchester, will be applied on selected onward bmi routes.

Passengers flying on Qatar Airways’ double daily London Heathrow flights can connect onto bmi services to Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Belfast, Dublin, Leeds, Teeside, Brussels and Amsterdam.

And passengers travelling on Qatar Airways’ Manchester route, served four times a week from Doha, can connect onto bmi’s onward flights to Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen.

Passengers benefit from through check-in to their final destination with boarding passes issued at the departure airport.

Announcing the partnership at World Travel Market in London, Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer, Akbar Al Baker said the codeshare agreement reinforced the airline’s commitment to developing a strong European network of flights operated with dedicated services and through partner airlines.

“Having bmi as a codeshare partner significantly enhances Qatar Airways’ presence in UK regional markets and on the Continent,” he said.

“Our flights in and out of London Heathrow and Manchester have excellent connections with bmi on nine key routes offering passengers a truly seamless service. They will also be able to experience Qatar Airways’ award-winning Five Star service.”

Qatar Airways has won a string of accolades during 2004, including the Five Star ranking – one of only three airlines in the world recognised with such high distinction by Skytrax, an independent aviation quality monitoring agency.

Bmi Chief Executive Officer, Nigel Turner added: “bmi is delighted to spread the reach of our regional services, as well as some in Europe through this agreement with Qatar Airways.

“It will ensure that the benefit of our connecting services will be sold and marketed in a very important part of the world and provide travellers with all the benefits of a through check-in service. We look forward to working with a carrier that has the same high standards and values to those of bmi.”

Qatar Airways already has codeshare agreements in place with Lufthansa, Malaysia
Airlines, Alitalia, Garuda Indonesia, Thai Airways, Philippine Airlines, Biman Bangladesh,
Middle East Airlines, Yemenia and a ticketing arrangement with SNCF French Railways.

Over the next four weeks, Beijing, Seychelles, London Gatwick will be added to the network, followed in January by Johannesburg, Cape Town and Yangon, increasing Qatar Airways’ global reach from 53 to 59 destinations. By the end of 2005, the airline will operate to at least 70 destinations, including cities in North America and Australia.

Qatar Airways operates state-of-the-art Airbus A330 aircraft on both the London Heathrow and Manchester routes.

A330-200s, configured in two classes, Business and Economy, operate on the Manchester route, while the same aircraft in a three-class layout that includes a First Class cabin, serves the Heathrow market.

Qatar Airways recently took delivery of its largest aircraft, an A330-300, the first of 14 from Airbus, which is configured in three classes and used primarily on European routes, including London Heathrow.

The A330-300 features 259 seats configured in three classes – 12 First, 24 Business and 223 Economy – and offers at least 10 per cent more seats than Qatar Airways’ three-class A330-200s.

The A330-300 is equipped with newly designed Business and First Class seats and a fully interactive inflight entertainment system – Audio Video On Demand. The entertainment system features 32 Hollywood movies and films from around the world and short programmes, together with a choice of 40 CDs, 16 audio channels and 12 interactive games such as Solitaire and Millionaire.

The remaining A330-300s will be delivered progressively until April 2008.

Qatar Airways operates an all-Airbus fleet of 36 aircraft, one of the youngest fleets in the world. Last year, the airline placed a $5.1bn order with Airbus for 34 new aircraft to join the fleet over the next few years. Qatar Airways is one of the launch customers of the A380 ‘super jumbos’ with two firm orders scheduled for delivery in 2009.

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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