Dubai, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Qatar Airways has added yet another illustrious award to its growing list of accolades by being honoured with a GCC Economic Award at a ceremony in Dubai.
The award was one of several presented to Gulf-based companies and individuals recognising their vision and leadership across the region.
The awards, organised by Datamatix, also reflect the significant impact made on the development and enhancement of the GCC economy as a whole.
Qatar Airways’ meteoric rise from small regional player to large-scale international airline in just under 10 years, has made it one of the fastest growing carriers in the world – and with it, earning praise and admiration from industry observers.
Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker has been instrumental in guiding Qatar Airways into a dynamic international airline since taking charge of the business at the end of 1996.
Qatar Airways Senior Manager Commercial (East) picked up the GCC Economic Award on behalf of the airline during a night of celebration at the Burj Al Arab Hotel in Dubai.
The awards ceremony was attended by ministers, business leaders, academics and researchers. Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder was guest of honour.
The GCC Economic Awards judges’ panel was made up of industry experts, business analysts and top executives from regional and global organisations.
Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker commented: “I am delighted on behalf of Qatar Airways for being honoured with this wonderful award.
“As an airline, Qatar Airways has come a long way since our relaunch in 1997. The world’s eyes are looking at Qatar Airways as an airline with a strong mission to be among the best in the world.”
Upon receiving the award on behalf of Qatar Airways, Ali Al Rais said the honour was in recognition of the sheer hard work and determination of employees who have helped turn the airline into what it is today.
“We have in a dynamic company under the visionary leadership of a Chief Executive Officer who has been behind the turnaround of this fledgling airline into a highly-respected player in global aviation,” said Al Rais.
“Qatar Airways has been enjoying significant expansion year on year with a consistent annual growth rate of just under 40 per cent which has to be commended.”
Qatar Airways – one of four airlines ranked Five Star for service and excellence by industry audit Skytrax – has made great strides in the international aviation industry since its relaunch in 1997.
Apart from the Five Star ranking for two consecutive years, Qatar Airways’ cabin crew have been voted Best in the Middle East every year since 2003. And earlier this month, the airline also won an Inflight Service Excellence Award from Skytrax.
Qatar Airways currently has an international network spanning 69 destinations with a young and modern fleet of 44 all-Airbus aircraft.
The airline’s fleet will almost triple in size over the next 10 years to 110 aircraft. Aircraft orders are in the pipeline for 60 of the new generation Airbus A350s and 20 Boeing 777s worth a total US$15.2 billion.
For the financial year ending March 31, Qatar Airways expects to have carried more than 6 million passengers.
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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