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Qatar Airways Flies High With Global Accolades

Doha, QATAR – Qatar Airways has continued its award-winning streak by securing a string of accolades in the annual World Airline Awards 2005 carried out by Skytrax, the independent aviation industry monitoring agency.

Qatar Airways has held onto the coveted Five Star award for excellence, service and high standards, being one of only four airlines in the world – and the only Middle East carrier – to earn such an illustrious accolade.

The airline has also been voted as having the Best First Class and Business Class products in the Middle East.

Qatar Airways’ cabin crew have retained their award-winning status by being named Best in the Middle East for the third year running, while maintaining their position as 5th best inflight crew in the world.

The Doha-based carrier also holds onto the prestigious ranking of being voted among the top 10 airlines in the world for the second year running.

Qatar Airways’ First Class lounge in Doha, the airline’s operational hub, has been named among the top 10 in the world – and best in the Middle East – for its facilities and high service levels.

And Qatar Airways’ inflight cuisine across all three cabins – First, Business and Economy – has been widely recognised as being among the best in the world, achieving top 10 status once again.

With over 375 airlines featuring in the awards and voting by more than 12 million passengers worldwide, the survey is regarded as totally independent – free of outside or financial influences. It is the only airline survey that achieves a truly global audience comprising more than 94 different respondent nationalities in 2005.

With a superior inflight service, Qatar Airways’ First Class and Business Class products feature seats that recline into beds, 15-inch personal TV screens – the largest of any Middle East carrier – and a fully-interactive Audio and Video entertainment system. First Class passengers are provided with that extra personal touch, chauffeur driven in 7-series BMWs to and from their aircraft at Doha International Airport.

Qatar Airways beat fierce competition from regional neighbours to also win the cabin crew award for the third year running, having first earned the honour in 2003.

The best cabin crew award was based on a number of quality attributes covering a variety of areas that included; assistance during boarding, welcoming passengers, service efficiency, applying safety procedures, language skills, problem solving ability, enthusiasm, sincerity of staff, friendliness and staff presentation and grooming.

Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker expressed delight at the achievements which he said recognised the sheer hard work and determination of staff who have made the airline a success it is today.

“Qatar Airways was just a small airline with only a handful of routes and destinations at the time of its relaunch in 1997. Today we operate to 63 destinations around the world with a young and modern fleet which is growing at a phenomenal rate,” he said.

“The pressures of growth have been enormous, but our employees on the ground and in the air have risen to the challenge. As an airline we have matured very quickly and being recognised among a highly competitive list of established and well-respected airlines is a huge honour.

“Qatar Airways is no longer a small player in a big market. We can compete with the bigger players who have been around a lot longer than us and recognition demonstrates our ability to prove to the global marketplace that we can successfully compete and prove our standards are among the best in the world.”

Qatar Airways currently operates scheduled flights from Doha, capital of the State of Qatar, to 63 destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Indian subcontinent and the Far East. New destinations added in recent weeks have included Osaka, Tunis, Algiers and Mashad.

By the end of 2005, the airline plans to serve at least 70 destinations, including Alexandria from June 9 and the Greek capital Athens, starting on June 15.

Qatar Airways operates a modern all-Airbus fleet of 40 aircraft which will double in size over the next few years following a $5.1bn order for 34 additional Airbus jets signed in 2003. The airline is one of the launch customers of the twin-deck A380 ‘super jumbos’ with four aircraft on order, scheduled for delivery from 2009.

Its current fleet includes the Airbus A330 long-haul aircraft, one of the most spacious jets in the sky featuring Qatar Airways’ seat-cum-flat beds in First and Business Class. With an award-winning interactive Audio Video On Demand system which allows passengers in all three classes to view a large selection of programmes on their individual TV screens and listen to scores of audio options, Qatar Airways is simply an airline of choice.

About Skytrax

The Skytrax survey is a global barometer of passenger opinions about airlines around the world. Conducted over an 11-month period between June 2004 – May 2005, more than 12 million passengers took part in the annual airline survey. Respondents completed their answers through a number of methods, including an online customer survey and telephone interviews.

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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