Tokyo, JAPAN – Qatar Airways has stepped up its presence in the Japanese market by participating in a three-day travel trade and consumer exhibition in the capital, Tokyo.
A year after making its debut at JATA, the Japan Association of Travel Agents’ annual show, the airline celebrated the launch of its flights between Doha and Osaka with a much bigger presence at this year’s event.
Qatar Airways’ Japanese cabin crew, together with a fully fledged sales team from the country office in Tokyo, were on hand to meet and greet visitors to the stand at the Tokyo Big Sight International Exhibition Centre.
Qatar Airways had the opportunity to promote its new four-flights-a-week non-stop Osaka service and give visitors – travel industry professionals and consumers – an impression of the airline’s award-winning features.
Round-trip tickets between Osaka and any point on the Qatar Airways global network were raffled over the three days giving lucky winners the opportunity to sample the airline’s Five Star service.
Travel agents and tour operators from across Japan and overseas visited the show, where industry organisations drawn from international tourist boards, airlines, hotels and cruise and car rental companies, presented their latest products.
Since the mid-1990s, the Japanese outbound travel market has undergone major change with two key segments leading the way – middle-aged over 50s and men and women in their 30s – primarily because the travelling public has continued to grow older and more adventurous.
It represents a sharp shift from the young men and women in their 20s who were once seen as leading the trend in overseas travel from Japan.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said that participation at the JATA event reflected the airline’s dedication to the Japanese market.
“We launched our Doha – Osaka flights six months ago and have been overwhelmed by the success of the service,” he said.
“With several Japanese cabin crew onboard each of our Osaka flights, we are committed to offering that little extra personal touch on our services. They provide the necessary language skills that ensure our Japanese passengers face no difficulties communicating with our crew during the flight.
“Qatar Airways looks forward to strengthening its position in the Japanese market with extra flights to Osaka which will offer passengers an improved choice of services and connections to our extensive network of routes from Doha.”
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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