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Qatar Airways And SNCF Enter Air Rail Agreement

Doha, QATAR – Qatar Airways, the national carrier of the State of Qatar, and French rail network SNCF (Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer Français), have begun a TGV AIR codeshare agreement covering 15 cities across France.

The deal enables Qatar Airways, one of the fastest growing airlines in the world, to spread its network throughout France, carrying passengers between key provincial French cities and Paris for connection onto the airline’s daily flights to Doha, capital of Qatar.

Under the agreement, Qatar Airways’ QR flight code is applied on selected SNCF rail services ensuring travellers have a seamless journey between Doha and the French regions.

The 15 railway stations involved in the deal are : Lille-Europe ; Lyon-Part Dieu ; St Pierre des Corps ; Rennes ; Nantes ; Angers-St Laud ; Le Mans ; Poitiers ; Bordeaux St Jean ; Avignon TGV ; Valence TGV ; Marseille St Charles ; Montpellier ; Nîmes and Aix en Provence TGV.

“This agreement provides Qatar Airways with an extended presence across France to better serve the travelling public”, said Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer, Akbar Al Baker.

Added Eric Didier, Qatar Airways Area Manager France: “Our Paris flights have proved extremely popular which is why we recently increased frequency to a daily service. With this bi-modal agreement with SNCF, we will now be able to meet increasing demand from our customers in the regions.”

Mireille Faugère, Voyages France Europe Director at SNCF, said: “This new agreement reinforces the development of TGV AIR connections and the promotion of TGV at an international level. By the end of 2004, almost 100,000 passengers will have used the TGV AIR product via SNCF partner airlines.”

Qatar Airways currently flies an Airbus A330-200 between Paris and Doha in a three-class configuration of First, Business and Economy, featuring a state-of-the-art interactive inflight entertainment system.

The airline operates scheduled flights from its hub in Doha to 53 destinations across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Indian sub-continent and the Far East.

Over the next three months, Beijing, Seychelles, London Gatwick, Johannesburg, Cape Town and Yangon will be added to the network, increasing Qatar Airways’ global reach from 53 to 59 destinations, and enhancing its status as one of the fastest growing airlines in the world.

By the end of 2005, Qatar Airways will serve at least 70 destinations, including North America and Australia.

SNCF carries almost 90 million passengers every year to 140 destinations across France. The Charles de Gaulle airport TGV railway station is a key SNCF hub with over 50 TGV services daily. Since the opening of the high-speed rail network 22 years ago, a billion passengers have travelled across France and Europe with TGV, Eurostar and Thalys.

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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