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Qatar Airways Offers Unique Inflight Immigration Service

Doha, QATAR – Passengers travelling on Qatar Airways’ flights to Cairo are being offered a unique service to assist with the speedy process of immigration formalities prior to arrival in the Egyptian capital.

All Qatar Airways flights operating from Doha to Cairo until August 15 will have a high-ranking Egyptian immigration officer onboard to stamp passengers’ passports inflight.

The entry clearance procedures prior to arrival in Cairo have been introduced to cope with the summer rush and offer passengers a hassle-free service. On arrival at Cairo International Airport, passengers will avoid the need to queue up at immigration desks.

The service is available on each of the daily scheduled flights between Doha, the airline’s operational hub and capital of the State of Qatar, and Cairo. Qatar Airways is laying on seven additional special flights between July 7 – 15 on the Cairo route to coincide with school teachers’ holidays. An Egyptian immigration officer will also be onboard these extra flights.

On the return sector from Cairo to Doha, Egyptian immigration officials will sit alongside Qatar Airways check-in staff and provide passport exit stamps to avoid passengers queuing up at immigration counters when leaving the country.

The service has been made possible following consultation with Cairo Airport Police and the Passport Directorate in Egypt.

Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said the service was unique in the Middle East and one of the first, if not the first, anywhere in the world.

“Airports around the world get extremely congested during peak travel periods, so anything we, as an airline, can do to ease the problems and ensure the smooth flow of passengers through the necessary airport formalities, can only be good news,” he said.

“The Cairo initiative is yet another innovative step taken by Qatar Airways to provide passengers with greater convenience when travelling.

“No one could have ever imagined having immigration officers carrying out their duties inflight. This is just one route, but we hope such a service could be extended on other routes over time in conjunction with the relevant authorities in these markets.”

Qatar Airways currently operates scheduled flights from Doha to 65 destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Indian subcontinent and the Far East. The Indian capital New Delhi will be added to Qatar Airways’ route network on July 15, followed by Nairobi on November 15.

As one of the fastest growing and youngest carriers in the world, Qatar Airways has made significant inroads in the global aviation industry to become an award-winning airline in just a short few years.

The airline has a modern fleet of 40 all-Airbus aircraft, which will almost double within a few years. Earlier this month, Akbar Al Baker announced plans at the Paris Air Show for Qatar Airways to acquire up to 80 aircraft, comprising 60 of the new generation A350s and 20 Boeing 777s worth a total US$15.2 billion.

The airline is one of the launch customers of the twin-deck A380 ‘super jumbos’ with four aircraft on order and scheduled for delivery from 2009 to coincide with the opening of the New Doha International Airport.

Qatar Airways recently retained its status as one of only a select-few Five Star-ranked airlines in the world by Skytrax, the independent aviation industry monitoring agency.

Skytrax also named Qatar Airways’ cabin crew as Best in the Middle East for the third year running and fifth best in the world following a survey of more than 12 million passengers worldwide, while the airline also maintained its position as being among the world’s top 10 carriers.

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