Doha, QATAR – Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker presented his vision of the New Doha International Airport being positioned as a key regional hub and integral to the airline’s growth, to a high-level delegation of government and private sector officials from Singapore.
During a flying visit to Qatar, Mr Yeo Cheow Tong, the Honourable Transport Minister of Singapore, led the delegation of 20 key figures representing the aviation and transport industries from the island state in South East Asia.
They were in Qatar on a fact-finding mission to explore new business opportunities between the State of Qatar and Singapore, with particular interest in the New Doha International Airport (NDIA) which is under development at a cost of US$5.5 billion.
Al Baker presented details of the new airport, of which construction began in January when dredging work got underway as part of the land reclamation project.
With 60% of the new airport site being reclaimed from the Arabian Gulf, the NDIA is set to become an architectural icon featuring state-of-the-art facilities that will position it as a key regional hub and one of the best designed airports in the world.
Al Baker said many construction contracts had already been awarded for the new airport, but welcomed Singapore-based companies, which he praised for their immense professionalism – to bid for up and coming projects at the terminal building and associated services and facilities.
He said Qatar and Singapore had enjoyed a good healthy relationship which was going from strength to strength. The commitment, he said, was reflected by national airline Qatar Airways recently upgrading its services between the two countries to daily non-stop operated by larger capacity long-haul aircraft, the Airbus A330s.
Al Baker said Singapore had been a highly successful route for the airline since the service was launched in November 2003 and it was only a matter of time before it was upgraded to a bigger capacity aircraft operating non-stop from July this year.
He explained that Qatar Airways will almost triple its fleet size by the year 2015, and the new airport would easily accommodate the needs of the airline and its growth plans, including delivery of the new twin-deck Airbus A380s.
The NDIA will be the first airport in the world to be built specifically for the A380, with both runways and numerous parking gates able to accommodate the aircraft.
Yeo Cheow Tong praised the airline’s CEO for his vision to develop Qatar Airways into a key regional airline in the Middle East and vital player in global aviation, as well as his dedication to the new airport project.
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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