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Qatar Airways CEO Given Lifetime Achievement Award

Beirut, LEBANON – Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker has been honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award by organisers of the Arab World Travel and Tourism Conference and Exhibition.

Mr Al Baker was presented with the award at a ceremony during the annual AWTTE show, held in the Lebanese capital, Beirut.

He received his award from Lebanese Minister of Tourism His Excellency, Dr. Ali H. Abdullah and General Manager of show organisers Al-Iktissad Wal-Aamal Group, Mr Raouf Abu Zaki.

As head of Qatar Airways, national airline of the State of Qatar, Al Baker has steered the company in a relatively short few years into a leading regional and global player in the aviation industry.

“I am extremely honoured to receive such an award which I would like to share with my staff for their dedication in making Qatar Airways a success it is today,” said Al Baker, regarded as one of the aviation industry’s most dynamic executives.

Since his appointment as CEO in 1996, he has turned Qatar Airways into an award-winning airline and one of the most respected carriers in the world.

After joining he relaunched Qatar Airways with a fresh identity, livery, logo and a new philosophy of quality customer service.

He committed the airline to an aggressive strategic growth plan in which Qatar Airways has developed from an airline with a handful of routes and only four aircraft to 53 cities served worldwide from its hub in Doha, capital of Qatar. By the end of 2005, the airline will operate 70 routes worldwide.

Al Baker has an eye for detail and is meticulous in striving for the best. With a current fleet of 34 modern all-Airbus aircraft, Qatar Airways will double in size over the next few years following a $5.1bn order for 34 additional Airbus aircraft to join the fleet.

Earlier this year, under his leadership, Qatar Airways earned three prestigious awards from Skytrax, the global aviation industry monitoring agency.

Skytrax awarded Qatar Airways its highest accolade for airline service - a Five Star ranking - joining an elite club of only two other carriers worldwide to receive such recognition.

Qatar Airways cabin crew were also named by Skytrax as best in the Middle East – and fifth best worldwide – following the results of their annual global survey of some 130 airlines. And Skytrax named the airline as having the eighth best inflight entertainment system in the world.

In the last seven years, Al Baker also created Qatar Airways into a profitable group of companies that includes: Qatar Airways Holidays, Qatar Aviation Services, Qatar Aircraft Catering Company, Doha International Airport, United Media International, Qatar Distribution Company and Qatar Duty Free Company. He is Chief Executive Officer of the airline’s seven subsidiary companies.

He is also instrumental in overseeing the expansion and rejuvenation of the existing airport. Al Baker plays an influential role in the shape of Doha’s new $5bn international airport, which will position Qatar as a leading regional aviation centre. He sits on the Government committee that is planning the new airport, which will open in phases, beginning in 2008.

Al Baker also plays a pivotal role in the development of tourism in Qatar as chairman of the Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA). The country is embarking on a huge drive to improve its tourism infrastructure at a cost of $15bn to develop new resorts, luxury hotels, cultural projects and international sports facilities.

His tremendous work and dedication to Qatar Airways and the State of Qatar have earned him global recognition, and earlier this year he received a distinguished award – the Knighthood of the French Legion of Honour (Chevalier De La Legion D’Honneur) from the French government.

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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