Yangon, MYANMAR – Award-winning Qatar Airways has become the first carrier from the Middle East to fly to Yangon, capital of Myanmar, when its inaugural flight touched down at the city’s international airport on Saturday.
A delegation of officials from Qatar Airways headed by Senior Manager Commercial Operations East, Ali Al Rais, travelled on the first flight from Doha, capital of the State of Qatar in the Arabian Gulf, to a traditional welcome reception at Yangon International Airport.
Qatar Airways’ Regional Manager Far East, Marwan Koleilat joined senior Myanmar government and aviation industry officials to greet the aircraft for what is Qatar Airways’ first new route of 2005.
From January 18, Qatar Airways adds Johannesburg and Cape Town from Doha to its evolving international route map that covers Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Indian subcontinent and the Far East.
As one of the fastest growing airlines in the world with a fleet of 39 modern all-Airbus aircraft, Qatar Airways, the national airline of the State of Qatar, has quickly established itself as a leading player in the aviation industry in just a short few years since its launch.
It has also earned global recognition for its award-winning service. Qatar Airways is one of only three airlines to have achieved a Five Star ranking for high service standards and quality by Skytrax, an independent aviation industry monitoring agency.
Qatar Airways has scheduled four non-stop flights a week between Doha and Yangon using an Airbus A319 in a two-class configuration of eight seats in Business Class and 102 in Economy.
To celebrate the launch of the new flights, Myanmar Airways International is codesharing on Qatar Airways’ services between Yangon and Doha, and onwards to Paris and London Gatwick. The agreement enables Myanmar Airways International to sell seats on Qatar Airways using its own 8M flight designator code.
The airline’s new Yangon flights will provide convenient connections to numerous points on Qatar Airways’ worldwide network via Doha, including recently-introduced services to Seychelles and London Gatwick.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said he was delighted to see Yangon added to Qatar Airways’ growing network.
“Myanmar is a country that is unexplored, yet has a full tourism potential and we, at Qatar Airways, are pleased to help generate traffic to this country which has plenty to offer.
“Qatar Airways is able to fly passengers to Doha to experience the best Arabian hospitality on offer and provide convenient connections to many destinations served by the airline across the world.”
In addition to its Five Star ranking, Qatar Airways was voted by Skytrax for having the best cabin crew in the Middle East for the second year running in 2004 and fifth best overall worldwide.
Its inflight entertainment system ranked 8th best in the world. The airline is currently retrofitting its A330 long-haul fleet with a new state-of-the-art Audio Video On Demand (AVOD) system for passengers travelling in First, Business and Economy Class. Qatar Airways was also the first Middle East carrier to install fully flat beds in First Class on its A330 fleet.
Qatar is rapidly developing its infrastructure to help reach its goal of becoming the leading aviation hub in the Middle East. Next week, work starts on a green field site for the construction of a brand new international airport in Doha, with part of the land reclaimed from the Arabian Gulf.
The country is also the first in the Middle East to host the Asian Games in 2006.
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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