New Delhi, INDIA – Qatar Airways has today brought its award-winning Five Star service to the Indian capital New Delhi with its inaugural flight touching down at Indira Gandhi International Airport in the early hours of this morning.
Mr Ali Al Rais, Qatar Airways’ Senior Manager Commercial (Arabian Peninsula, Iran, South Asia and Myanmar) headed a delegation of Middle East media on the non-stop scheduled flight from Doha, the airline’s operational hub and capital of the State of Qatar.
The Delhi route, operated seven-times-a-week, becomes Qatar Airways’ fifth destination in India and marks the first stage of a capacity increase on selected routes to India. The airline currently operates 19 scheduled flights a week between Doha and Mumbai, Hyderabad, Cochin and Trivandrum.
This summer, Qatar Airways increases capacity to India with 11 additional flights a week taking the number of services to 30 across five Indian cities, including Delhi.
From today, July 15, the Mumbai route increases from six services a week to daily.
Cochin, currently served three-times-a-week, will be boosted with two additional weekly departures, beginning on July 18. And starting on July 21, a fourth weekly frequency will be added to the Hyderabad schedules.
The Delhi route is being operated with an Airbus A320 in a two-class configuration of 12 seats in Business and 132 in Economy. It will offer excellent connections over Doha to and from Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said he was delighted that the airline was finally spreading its long-awaited Five Star service to New Delhi.
“This has been made possible thanks to the diligent efforts of the regulatory authorities in India and in Qatar over the past few years,” he said.
“We have long had an ambition to serve Delhi and we are today at last celebrating our first flights into this wonderful city, the capital of India.”
Expansion into India has been made possible following the recent successful round of air service bilateral discussions between the governments of Qatar and India.
Added Ali Al Rais, Qatar Airways’ Senior Manager Commercial (Arabian Peninsula, Iran, South Asia and Myanmar): “With India enjoying such an economic boom, and capacity for seats unable to meet the high demand, we just had to have a share of this tremendous growth path.
“The Indian government has been extremely pro-active in recent months in opening up the skies to more services, and make the aviation environment to and from India more competitive. We look forward to welcoming many new passengers on our flights for the first time.”
Qatar Airways currently operates scheduled flights from Doha to 66 destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Indian subcontinent and the Far East. The airline will add the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, to its growing list of destinations from November 15.
Qatar Airways currently operates a modern fleet of 40 all-Airbus aircraft, which will almost double within a few years. Earlier this month, Qatar Airways announced plans at the Paris Air Show 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 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
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