SINGAPORE – Award-winning Qatar Airways has today announced its flight schedules between Singapore and Doha are being revamped to offer daily services and more convenient connections during the Summer 2006 flying programme.
Beginning May 2, Qatar Airways will bring a number of its key destinations closer to travellers from Singapore with vastly improved connections to cities across Europe, Middle East and Africa via its Doha hub.
It is the latest step by Qatar Airways to improve its product offering to passengers since launching scheduled flights on the route in December 2003 with three services a week.
In May 2004, the airline upgraded the service to daily from Doha, with four flights operating via the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur. All the services were operated with an Airbus A300 aircraft.
Twelve months later in July 2005, in line with the airline’s philosophy of offering increased capacity on its long-haul services, the Doha – Singapore flights were upgraded to non-stop using the state-of-the-art widebody Airbus A330-200 aircraft in a two-class configuration.
Three of the weekly services continue onto the southern Philippines port city of Cebu and the other four to the Indonesian capital, Jakarta.
With the revised Singapore – Doha flight timings from May 2, Qatar Airways will be able to offer daily services to the Middle East and improved connections to cities as diverse as London, Paris, Manchester, Frankfurt, Athens, Rome, Madrid, Nairobi, Dubai, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait and Cairo.
Qatar Airways currently has an international network spanning 69 destinations with a young and modern fleet of 44 all-Airbus aircraft.
Speaking in Singapore during a press briefing today, Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said the latest steps being taken on the Singapore route reflected the airline’s commitment to provide passengers with more convenient flights to and from the island city-state via Doha.
“Since we started our Singapore operation just over two years ago, we have enjoyed phenomenal success on the route,” he said at the briefing held in conjunction with the Foreign Correspondents Association of Singapore (FCA).
“It was only a matter of time that we upgraded the service – be it through capacity, frequency or, now, schedules.”
The Singapore route is operated in a two-class configuration of up to 247 seats in Economy and 24 in Business. The A330 is the backbone of Qatar Airways’ long-haul fleet to destinations as far afield as Europe, South Africa and Far East, with selected aircraft also equipped with a First Class cabin.
The A330-200 aircraft features a fully interactive Audio and Video On Demand inflight entertainment system in every seat with a multitude of films and TV programmes for passengers to choose from.
The AVOD system gives passengers greater control of their inflight entertainment. The video option enables passengers to play, forward, rewind and pause programmes to give them more functionality.
The A330s feature Business Class seats that offer a seat pitch of up to 60 inches, with each seat converting into a two-metre bed to provide the utmost in comfort levels. Seats offer 5 pre-programmed electronic comfort controls for take-off, eating, sitting, relaxing and sleeping. Individual LCD TV screens are up to 15-inches in size.
In Economy, a seat pitch of up to 34 inches is among the most generous of any airline in the world. Apart from the individual entertainment system and a TV screen of up to 9 inches, the seats are ergonomically designed to provide more comfort with greater shin space.
Al Baker added that business and tourism links between the State of Qatar and Singapore were already very strong – and were being strengthened.
“In recent months, we have enjoyed visits from high-level political and business delegations to Qatar. Similarly, there have been reciprocal high-profile visits to Singapore from Qatar,” he said.
“The highly-respected Singapore Minister Mentor, Mr Lee Kuan Yew has visited Qatar on two occasions in as many months in Doha – most recently only last month. And last year, the Emir of Qatar made an official visit to Singapore.
“Over the past 12 months, we have seen that Singapore-based companies have shown growing interest in exploring business opportunities in Qatar. Key sectors of interest include real estate, construction, environmental services, oil and gas supporting infrastructure, and transport and logistics.
“We share a strong bond with Singapore – and look forward to exciting business opportunities between our two countries over the next few months and years to come,” said Al Baker.
He explained that Qatar Airways was helping drive the rapidly-growing economy of Qatar. As the national flag carrier, the airline plays a key role in facilitating travel to and from the Arabian Gulf state.
During the briefing, he spoke of Qatar’s commitment to turn the country into a key regional and global hub with the development of a brand new US$5.5billion international airport in Doha.
The first phase of the airport is due to open in 2009 to coincide with the arrival of the first of four Airbus A380 ‘superjumbos’ in Qatar Airways colours. Around two-thirds of the new airport – which will eventually be able to handle up to 50 million passengers a year when fully operational in 2015 – will be built on reclaimed land.
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