Doha, QATAR – Qatar Airways is gearing up for its first route launch of 2006 with the vibrant and colourful destination of Hong Kong joining the airline’s growing network on March 26.
Daily scheduled flights will operate non-stop from Doha, capital of the State of Qatar, to Hong Kong – the airline’s third gateway in Greater China.
Qatar Airways already serves the Chinese capital Beijing and commercial centre of Shanghai with four flights a week to each city non-stop from Doha.
Hong Kong becomes Qatar Airways’ 12th Far East destination in a route network that already covers Osaka, Shanghai, Beijing, Seoul, Manila, Cebu, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Yangon and Jakarta.
The new Hong Kong service will be operated with the state-of-the-art Airbus A330 widebody aircraft, configured in two classes. Business Class features up to 24 seats reclining 160 degrees in a 2-2-2 configuration, while the Economy cabin has up to 259 seats.
Qatar Airways is celebrating its newest route launch by taking its award-winning services to a destination that has been designated by tourism authorities – 2006 Discover Hong Kong Year. And the route is exceptionally important as it comes in a year when Qatar hosts the 15th Asian Games. Qatar Airways is the Official Airline of the Games, which take place over a two-week period in December.
To mark the launch, Qatar Airways Holidays – a division of Qatar Airways – is offering special introductory packages to Hong Kong with prices starting from QAR3,095 per person sharing a double room. The price includes round-trip travel in Economy Class on Qatar Airways from Doha, three nights’ accommodation at the Hotel Metro Park, round-trip airport transfers, Hong Kong island city tour and free entry to Hong Kong Disneyland.
At the forefront of 2006 Discover Hong Kong Year are Hong Kong’s most ambitious and exciting new attractions to date. The recently-opened Hong Kong Disneyland on Lantau Island brings the Magic Kingdom to Hong Kong with an Asian twist.
Also on Lantau is the new 5.7km Ngong Ping 360 Skyrail cable car offering spectacular panoramic views during a 25-minute journey from Tung Chung to Ngong Ping, home of the popular Big Buddha. And Hong Kong’s Wetland Park is another attraction having opened a new state-of-the-art visitor centre.
With breathtaking views from the highly-popular Victoria Peak, Hong Kong also offers excellent shopping, dining and entertainment for visitors.
The flying experience on Qatar Airways’ A330-200 promises to be one to remember.
The aircraft features the airline’s award-winning Audio Video On Demand interactive entertainment system, allowing passengers in all classes to choose from more than 40 international movies, as well as short programmes to view on their individual TV screens. Passengers can also listen to an extensive list of 250 CDs and 16 audio channels. In addition, there is a choice of 12 video games to play through the interactive TV screens.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said Hong Kong was one of the most exciting cities in the world offering visitors the opportunity to sample its unique heritage, festivals and tourist attractions.
“In just under two weeks’ time, Qatar Airways will be adding the vibrant city of Hong Kong to our global network,” he said.
“Hong Kong is a key financial, business and leisure centre which is a must for any airline to serve – and Qatar Airways is no exception.
“We are extremely delighted to launch this exciting route in a year when Hong Kong is pushing the boat out to promote its new and diverse attractions.
“Hong Kong is spending a lot of money and resource during 2006 and we are only too pleased to be able to launch our flights to this wonderful destination during Discover Hong Kong Year. Hong Kong fits nicely into our growth strategy to serve key capital and secondary cities around the world.”
Added Al Baker: “Hong Kong has a fantastic tourist product and some of the world’s best conference and convention facilities. By working closely with our partners in Hong Kong, Qatar Airways promises to make this route one of the most successful in recent years.”
More than 23 million people visited Hong Kong during 2005. The Middle East is one of the key markets for inbound tourism to Hong Kong, with visitor figures from the region rising more than 7 per cent in January alone.
For further information on 2006 Discover Hong Kong Year, log onto www.discoverhongkong.com
The Doha – Hong Kong schedules are:-
Depart Doha International Airport
|Monday, Friday and Saturday||QR816 at 0050, arrive Hong Kong at 1405|
|Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday||QR812 at 0050, arrive Hong Kong at 1405|
|Wednesday||QR812 at 0220, arrive Hong Kong at 1535|
Depart Hong Kong International Airport
|Monday, Wed, Thurs and Friday||QR813 at 0045, arrive Doha at 0415|
|Monday, Friday and Saturday||QR817 at 1935, arrive Doha at 2305|
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