Doha, QATAR – Qatar Airways is taking its first steps into the US market through transatlantic codeshare services with partner Lufthansa.
Beginning 1st June 2006, Doha-based Qatar Airways will apply its QR code on flights operated by German carrier Lufthansa between Germany and four US points – Houston, New York JFK, Newark and Washington.
Qatar Airways’ new codeshare destinations strengthens a relationship with Lufthansa that has been in place for many years.
Both airlines currently codeshare on flights between Doha and Frankfurt, a route operated by the two carriers. Qatar Airways also applies its QR code on flights operated by Lufthansa between Frankfurt and Geneva, as well as Munich and Geneva. In addition, Lufthansa applies its LH code on Qatar Airways’ flights between Doha and Munich.
The enhanced partnership marks a significant step for Qatar Airways, giving the airline a foothold into the world’s biggest travel market. The airline intends to launch dedicated non-stop flights between Doha and the US east coast this year with its new state-of-the-art Airbus A340-600 aircraft.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said the relationship with Lufthansa had worked extremely well and that the launch of additional codeshare flights were a logical step forward.
“Under the expanded codeshare arrangement with Lufthansa, the benefits are significant,” he said. “Passengers will have a through check-in facility, their baggage will be checked-in all the way to the US, and they will be given boarding passes at the point of departure for their entire journey.
“The transatlantic codeshare with Lufthansa marks the first step of Qatar Airways’ plans to operate dedicated flights to the US.
“Launching our own flights to the US has been on our books for sometime and we are pleased to announce that this will become reality during the course of the year. America is a key market and no airline that truly wants to be a global operator can afford to ignore the US.”
Qatar Airways is the launch customer of the High Gross Weight version of the Airbus A340-600 which is scheduled to join the airline’s fleet in July. Passengers travelling in the premium cabins of the aircraft will be able to enjoy the comforts of a dedicated onboard First Class and Business Class lounge making the non-stop journey from Doha to the United States an experience of a lifetime.
The airline operates a modern fleet of 47 all-Airbus aircraft to 70 destinations from its hub in Doha, capital of the State of Qatar. Its fleet will almost triple in size over the next 10 years to 110 aircraft. Qatar Airways plans to acquire up to 80 aircraft in orders worth US$16billion over the next 10 years.
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
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