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Qatar Airways Torchbearers Get Ready To Carry Asian Games Flame Through Qatar

Doha, QATAR – Ten lucky employees at Qatar Airways, the Official Airline of the forthcoming 15th Asian Games Doha 2006, have been chosen to represent the company as Torchbearers in Qatar ahead of the biggest sporting spectacle ever to take place in the country.

The Qatar Airways Torch Relay Team was selected from thousands of applicants from across the airline to be part of this once - in - a - lifetime - experience.

The Torch Relay will burst on to the world stage with a spectacular lighting ceremony in Doha, capital of the State of Qatar, on October 8. It then commences on an historic 55-day journey to 15 countries across Asia and the Middle East before returning to Qatar in the Arabian Gulf on November 25.

The flame will be carried across Qatar over the following seven days, taking in cities including Al Shamal, Dukhan, Al Wakra and Al Kohr, before finally ending up in Doha for the start of the 15th Asian Games on December 1.

Qatar Airways’ 10 lucky Torchbearers are: Peter Pohlschmidt, Sangeeta Nair, Valentine Wanjiru, Sendil Kumaran, Kamal Sharif Shaikh, Zainul Shaikh, Errol Sequeria, Monnette Velrade, Alfred Solano and Shaikh Taufeeq Ahmed.

They will be among 1,000 Torchbearers across the country parading the torch through its final leg in Qatar.

The torch will be carried into Doha’s hi-tech Khalifa Stadium for the Opening Ceremony of the 15th Asian Games, where the lighting of the cauldron will officially open the two-week sporting spectacle, which will attract more than 10,500 athletes and team officials from 45 countries competing in 39 sports.

More than 3,500 people will be involved in the Torch Relay route, the longest in Asian Games history. The torchbearers will wear official uniforms, inspired by the colours of the Qatari flag and will firmly put Doha and Qatar in the international spotlight.

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.

“It is exciting to see Qatar Airways employees being a special part of this historic event as torchbearers and I am sure they will remember this occasion for years to come.”

One of the selected staff, who works at Qatar Airways’ head office in Doha said: “As a Torchbearer, I feel honoured and proud to participate in this once-in-a-lifetime-experience.

“It is a unique opportunity for me to be part of this great moment in the history of Qatar. I look forward to sharing the passion, energy and excitement of this wonderful occasion with my colleagues at Qatar Airways and the people of Qatar.”

Qatar Airways currently operates seven of its long-haul Airbus A330 aircraft in three distinct colour schemes depicting the 15th Asian Games. 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.

Qatar Airways is the national airline of Qatar and through its partnership with the Doha Asian Games Organising Committee (DAGOC), will deliver the highest possible standards of service to athletes, officials, spectators and media representatives flying to Doha for the Games.

With a modern fleet of 49 all-Airbus aircraft, Qatar Airways flies to 70 destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Far East and Indian subcontinent. Together with its codeshare partners, Qatar Airways serves a global network of more than 90 cities.

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
E-mail: qrmedia@qatarairways.com.qa

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