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Qatar Airways Rolls Out Live Satellite Television Onboard Long-Haul Fleet

Doha, QATAR – Award-winning Qatar Airways has become the first international airline in the world to introduce live digital satellite TV beamed direct to every passenger on their individual seatback TV systems at 35,000 feet.

Yet another first for one of the world’s fastest growing airlines, Qatar Airways has introduced the system offering a multitude of European and Middle East TV channels on five of its fleet of Airbus A330 long-haul aircraft.
By the end of the year, 14 aircraft, including the airline’s brand new Airbus A340-600 which enters service this month, will be equipped with the new Rockwell Collins Tailwind 560 satellite television system. Distributed through Showtime Arabia, via the Rockwell Collins system, a further 10 aircraft will be equipped with the service during 2007.

Live television is initially being made available on flights within and between the Middle East and Europe.

The enhancements to Qatar Airways’ award-winning inflight entertainment system enable passengers to watch live news, information, sport and other television programmes from selected networks beamed live direct to their individual seatback TV screens.

Fully independent personalised television viewing allows each passenger to select from a suite of premium European and Arabic-language TV channels. The system’s multi-directional antenna allows passengers to enjoy uninterrupted entertainment as their flights pass from Middle Eastern into European airspace.

In the Middle East, passengers have access to Al Jazeera, BBC World, EuroNews, CNN International, TV5, EuroSport News, MBC and Disney Channel. Within the European region, channels available are Al Jazeera, BBC World, EuroNews, CNN International, TV5, EuroSport 2, Future TV and Bloomberg.

Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said onboard live satellite television was yet another product initiative that differentiated Qatar Airways from its competitors even further.

“We have been successfully trialling live TV for sometime and are extremely pleased to be able to now offer this wonderful, unique service to passengers on selected aircraft,” he said, adding that the service is gradually being rolled out across the airline’s long-haul fleet.

“As a key player in the Middle East and international aviation market, Qatar Airways always commits itself to the highest standards of inflight entertainment and onboard amenities,“ he added.

“In this day and age of long-haul international travel, passengers are becoming more demanding and are flying in an environment where there is more choice. We continue to look at ways to improve our service levels to passengers and, by offering a variety of entertainment options, we also set new standards of comfort to ensure we are the airline of choice.”

Qatar Airways’ entertainment system onboard its widebody A330 fleet is fully interactive offering Audio Video On Demand which gives passengers greater viewing and listening options.

The stop, pause, rewind and forward functions provide greater flexibility allowing passengers to view movies and TV programmes from around the world at the time of their choice on their personal entertainment system.

Qatar Airways offers personal TV screens across all three cabins – Economy, Business and First Class.

Qatar Airways is one of the fastest growing airlines in the world, currently operating an all-Airbus fleet of 48 aircraft, flying to 70 online destinations worldwide from its operational hub of Doha, capital of the State of Qatar. Together with its codeshare partners, Qatar Airways serves 90 destinations worldwide.

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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