Mumbai, INDIA – Qatar Airways, Official Airline and Prestige Partner of the 15th Asian Games Doha 2006, has rolled out its ‘Good Luck India’ campaign as part of its official new partnership of the Indian national team competing in the forthcoming sporting spectacle.
At a packed press conference held in India’s commercial capital of Mumbai, Qatar Airways revealed it was flying more than 250 athletes, officials and media to Doha for the biggest-ever Asian Games and largest sporting event to take place in the State of Qatar.
Leading Indian tennis player Shikha Uberoi was joined by badminton star Saina Nehwal at the Taj Mahal Palace & Towers to launch Qatar Airways’ campaign wishing all members of the Indian national team and officials the best of luck at the two-week event in Doha between December 1 – 15.
Qatar Airways has created five huge signature boards featuring Orry, mascot of the Asian Games, for passengers to sign and wish Team India the best of luck. The boards are placed near Qatar Airways’ check-in counters at each of the five Indian cities the airline operates flights from – Mumbai, Delhi, Cochin, Trivandrum and Hyderabad.
Qatar Airways will continue to offer its world-renowned Five Star hospitality to athletes, officials and spectators heading to Doha for two weeks of sporting entertainment. Qatar Airways signed a US$10 million sponsorship agreement last year with the Doha Asian Games Organising Committee (DAGOC).
Qatar Airways also announced that as part of India’s temporary open skies policy, it was adding capacity between India and Qatar during Winter 2006/07.
The airline is operating 12 additional non-stop flights a week between India and the airline’s operational hub of Doha from December 15 to January 31, 2007.
Qatar Airways currently operates 30 flights a week spread across Mumbai, Delhi, Cochin, Trivandrum and Hyderabad, rising to 42 services a week from December 15.
- Mumbai goes from daily to double daily
- Hyderabad up from four to seven services a week
- Cochin rises from five to seven flights a week
- Delhi remains seven flights a week
- Trivandrum remains daily
“India and Qatar share historic ties. Qatar Airways’ growing presence in India is an extension of this symbolism, where transport makes the world a global village and India and Qatar as close neighbours. Our partnership with Team India is an expression of this philosophy of friends, neighbours and partners in growth.
“We are also delighted to respond to the Indian Government’s policy of Open Skies during the winter by launching additional flights between Qatar and India.”
Shikha Uberoi, among the top-seeded Indian tennis stars at the Asian Games, expressed her gratitude to Qatar Airways for supporting Team India: ”As a participant at the Doha Asian Games, I appreciate this gesture by Qatar Airways and join them in saying ‘Good Luck India.’ What a fantastic sporting spectacle it promises to be in Doha and it’s wonderful to see so many people here in India looking to cheer on Team India over two weeks of excellent sport. Thank you India and thank you Qatar Airways.”
Added Saina Nehwal, India’s number one badminton star and winner of the recent Philippines Open: “Good Luck India is a great idea by Qatar Airways in offering encouragement to participating athletes as the Official Partner of Team India for the Doha Asian Games 2006. We look forward to performing our best for India and enjoying great Qatari hospitality during our stay.”
Qatar Airways has already embarked on a global television and print campaign focusing on its partnership with the Asian Games and operates seven of its long-haul Airbus A330 aircraft in three different and distinct Asian Games colour schemes to spread the spirit of friendship around the world. Three aircraft are painted in the distinct yellow and gold Asian Games colour scheme across the fuselage; three in blue with the Games mascot, ‘Orry the Oryx’ on the tail; and one in distinct red featuring an athlete and cyclist on the tail.
This week, 10 Qatar Airways employees will proudly represent the company as Official Torchbearers by carrying the Asian Games Flame through the streets of Qatar, just days before the Opening Ceremony at Khalifa Stadium on December 1.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said he was delighted, on behalf of the airline, to be supporting the biggest sporting event ever staged in the history of Qatar. “As Official Airline of the 15th Asian Games, Qatar Airways delivers its award-winning Five Star service to visitors to the Games, whether they are participating or are spectators,” he said.
“Qatar Airways’ trademark is personal attention and service quality, epitomising the values and hospitality of our Qatari tradition. I personally look forward to welcoming athletes from across the Asian continent to Qatar for two weeks of exciting sporting entertainment. Good luck Team India and, indeed, good luck to all participants from across Asia for what promises to be two weeks of sporting talent at its best.”
The entire city of Doha is preparing for the sporting spectacle. It has gone through a radical change in terms of infrastructure – international airport expansion, road widening, new hotels, resorts, new shopping malls, new residential, commercial buildings – to welcome people from around the world.
A new airport terminal has been set up to accommodate smooth arrivals and departures of Asian Games participants, while spectators will use the main Doha International Airport departures and arrivals facilities. The city displays the vibrant colours of the Games everywhere – on prominent building exteriors, lining main roads and flyovers, while the new Athletes Village, Aspire Academy and Khalifa Stadium are all ready for action.
Ahead of the start of the Asian Games, Qatar Airways opened the world's only dedicated First and Business Class terminal at Doha International Airport. The Premium Terminal features exclusive facilities such as a spa, jacuzzi, duty free, business centre and fine dining restaurants for use by the airline’s First and Business Class passengers departing or transiting for their international flights.
Built in just nine months at a cost of US$90 million, the new Premium Terminal opened to passengers on November 26.
Qatar Airways is one of the fastest growing airlines in the world, currently operating a modern fleet of 52 all-Airbus aircraft to 70 online destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Far East and Indian subcontinent.
Qatar Airways expands its international network in 2007 with the launch of non-stop scheduled flights between Doha and New York, Bali, Ho Chi Minh City, Dar Es Salaam and Lagos, together with two points in Northern and Eastern Europe.
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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