Doha, QATAR – Qatar Airways is preparing to host its second international squash tournament in Doha with the world’s leading players on the women’s circuit competing with each other in the Qatari capital.
The Qatar Airways Squash Challenge 2005 will see 32 players from the Women’s International Squash Players Association (WISPA) taking part in the week-long event, being held at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha between April 18 – 24, 2005.
As official airline and organiser of the tournament, now in its second year, Qatar Airways will fly players from their home base around the world to Doha. The event will attract millions of television viewers from around the world as it will be beamed live on TV.
Players from Europe, North America, the Indian sub-continent, Australia and the Far East will be competing for the coveted trophy and prize money worth $72,500.
The event will have considerable regional interest with the world number one, Australian Rachael Grinham, who is based in Cairo. Her sister, Natalie, the world number three, will also take part, as will defending champion and tournament favourite, the world number two Vanessa Atkinson.
The Qatar Airways Challenge is one of eight key events on the prestigious international Grand Prix circuit.
Of the players taking part, 24 have secured automatic qualification. Sixteen others will compete in the pre-qualification rounds for the eight remaining places making up the final 32.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker said the airline was delighted to be backing a sport which is gaining huge recognition and reputation around the world.
“We are extremely thrilled to once again be staging the Qatar Airways Challenge here in Doha and welcoming the world’s best players to Qatar,” said Al Baker.
“Qatar Airways is delighted to be involved in sponsoring key sporting events which form part of the airline’s strategy to spread its message as a key international player in the aviation industry.”
Apart from the Qatar Airways Challenge, the airline is sponsoring the Qatar Total German Open in Berlin next month, attracting some of the world’s leading women tennis professionals.
It also recently signed a US$10 million sponsorship agreement as the official host of the Asian Games being held in Doha next year.
Award-winning Qatar Airways is one of the fastest growing airlines in the world operating 60 routes from its hub in Doha with a fleet of 39 all-Airbus aircraft.
Qatar Airways is a winner in its own right, being one of only three airlines in the world to be ranked a Five Star carrier for excellent service and high standards by Skytrax, the independent aviation industry monitoring agency.
Skytrax also ranked Qatar Airways’ cabin crew as the best in the Middle East in 2004 for the second year running and fifth best in the world following a survey of more than two million passengers worldwide.
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
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