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Qatar Airways Inaugural Flight Touches Down In Athens

Athens, GREECE – Qatar Airways has added Athens to its rapidly-growing international network with the launch of non-stop scheduled flights to the Greek capital.

The carrier’s inaugural flight QR472 from Doha touched down at Athens International Airport this afternoon with a high-level delegation onboard, including airline representatives and media from the Middle East.

Senior airport officials welcomed the delegation, headed by Qatar Airways’ General Manager Commercial Mohamed Saleh Fakhri before a welcome ceremony to mark the arrival of the new service.

Athens is Qatar Airways’ third route launch this month following the start of new flights to Mashad in Iran and the Egyptian port city of Alexandria, served from the airline’s operational hub of Doha, capital of the State of Qatar. The historic city of Athens expands Qatar Airways’ global network to 65 global destinations covering Europe, Middle East, Africa, Indian subcontinent and Asia.

The airline is operating six flights a week on the Athens route, using an Airbus A320 in a two-class configuration of 12 seats in Business and 132 in Economy.

To celebrate the route launch, Qatar Airways is offering members of its Privilege Club frequent flyer programme with double Qmiles for the first full month of the new Athens flights.  

Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said he was delighted to see the airline spreading its wings to new and exciting destinations, to give the travelling public greater choice.

“Athens has tremendous history and culture and is the gateway to some beautiful islands in the Mediterranean which I am sure will be highly popular with holidaymakers as the summer season approaches,” he said.

“We expect to see excellent traffic from the Middle East, Indian sub-continent, Asia and Africa feeding into our flights to Athens via Doha. And similarly, we look forward to welcoming passengers out of Greece to connect onto our extensive network of flights from Doha.”

Award-winning Qatar Airways currently operates a modern fleet of 40 all-Airbus aircraft, which will almost double within a few years, thanks largely to a $5.1bn order for 34 additional Airbus aircraft signed in 2003.

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.

Earlier this month, Qatar Airways 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

Qatar Airways Corporate Communications
Tel: +974 4496956, Fax: +974 4620132
E-mail: qrmedia@qatarairways.com.qa

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