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Qatar Airways Enters Into Strategic Partnership With World Economic Forum

Doha, QATAR – Qatar Airways has signed a strategic partnership agreement with the World Economic Forum to become the official host of the Forum’s Arab Competitiveness Round Tables in Doha in Spring 2005 and 2007.

The Round Tables will bring together more than 200 global leaders from business, government, academia, society and the media to share their insights on commercial, political and economic developments in the region.

The two-day session will also include participation from the 100 members of the Arab Business Council.

At a ceremony held today at Qatar Airways’ headquarters in Doha, the airline’s Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker officially signed the strategic partnership agreement with Frederic Sicre, managing director of the World Economic Forum.

The airline will play the key role in organising the event and flying delegates from around the world to Doha where the first Round Table will be held over two days between April 1-2, 2005. The agreement covers a second Round Table to be held again in the Qatari capital in Spring 2007.

The partnership also covers Qatar Airways’ participation in future global events organised by the World Economic Forum.

Commenting on the partnership, Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said: “Qatar Airways is honoured to be associated with such an esteemed event that will take place in Doha this April and in Spring 2007.

“Trade is the lifeline for any economy and as the Middle East has emerged into a powerful economic trading region, it is vital for business and political leaders to share their thoughts on how we can remain competitive and enhance our global competitiveness.

“Competitiveness is in all sectors of business life and as Qatar Airways, we are not immune to the pressures of competitive forces within the aviation industry.”

He added: “Qatar Airways is strategically well placed to compete within the region and rest of the world and the airline is a successful example of determination and vision to create a thriving business.

“The Round Tables will also help establish Qatar as a pivotal policy centre in the Middle East.”

Added Frederic Sicre, managing director of the World Economic Forum: “We are delighted to be teaming up with Qatar Airways for this extremely important meeting. The Arab Competitiveness Meeting in Doha will attract some of the key business minds from the region and beyond – and it is good to be able to depend on such a trusted and respected carrier as a partner.”

Delegates will examine the business, political and social implications of the region's growth, looking at the impact of the wealth of natural resources on regional economies and the impact on trade of emerging economies such as China.

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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