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Doha, QATAR – Qatar Airways announced today that it had entered into contracts to lease six new narrow-body Airbus aircraft from CIT Aerospace, a unit of US-based CIT Group Inc, a global provider of commercial and consumer finance solutions.The order includes (1) A320 and (5) A321-200s, which will be delivered in 2007 and 2008. CIT Aerospace is one of the world’s largest aerospace financing and leasing companies.Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said: “Qatar Airways is growing at a phenomenal rate and in order to meet our expansion plans, we have looked carefully at ways to boost our fleet size.“This significant transaction with CIT Aerospace represents an important increase in Qatar Airways’ narrow-body fleet, geared to further improving connectivity and convenience for our customers over our Doha hub. We are very pleased indeed to welcome CIT Aerospace as another key partner to help facilitate our growth.”CIT Aerospace president Jeffrey Knittel added: “This transaction reflects our ability to meet the needs of our rapidly growing customer base in the Middle East.“We are pleased to have partnered with Qatar Airways and look forward to a long-term relationship with one of the fastest growing and most prestigious airlines in the region.”Qatar Airways currently operates an all-Airbus fleet of 49 aircraft to 70 destinations worldwide from its operational hub of Doha, capital of the State of Qatar. The fleet size will more than double to 110 jets by 2015.The airline is among an elite group of international carriers ranked with a Five Star status for service and excellence by Skytrax, the independent aviation industry monitoring agency. The airline’s cabin crew has been voted in 2006 as Best in the Middle East for the fourth consecutive year.CIT Aerospace, a unit of CIT Group Inc. (NYSE: CIT), provides financing solutions to a broad spectrum of the global aerospace value chain ranging from operators of commercial and business aircraft to manufacturers and suppliers in the aerospace and defence industries as well as financial institutions. (www.CIT.com)
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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Qatar Airways Group, Corporate Communications Department
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