Denpasar, BALI – Aviation and tourism officials last week in Kuala Lumpur praised the latest expansion moves by Qatar Airways, which includes the addition of a new link between Malaysia’s capital and the tropical Indonesian island of Bali.
A Qatar Airways delegation, led by Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker was warmly welcomed at Kuala Lumpur International Airport by Managing Director of Malaysia Airports Holdings, Dato’ Bashir Ahmad bin Abdul Majid; Chairman of Malaysia Airports Holdings, Tan Sri Datuk Dr Aris bin Othman; and Malaysian Deputy Transport Minister, Datuk Douglas Unggah Embas, who lauded the carrier’s rapid rise as an international airline.
Al Baker cited the new route is an important step in developing the airline’s Far East network. “Creating this link between Kuala Lumpur and Bali gives Qatar Airways the opportunity to further showcase its excellent product to travellers in this region,” he said.
“I would like to personally thank the authorities in Kuala Lumpur and Bali for making Qatar Airways feel welcome in this wonderful part of the world. The reception we received in both cities has been terrific and I applaud the authorities for their warm welcome.”
Qatar Airways launched flights from Doha, its operational hub in the State of Qatar, to Bali’s capital city Denapsar last week, with four services a week flying via Kuala Lumpur.
Al Baker commented that the Far East region was home to three of four international airlines awarded a Five Star rating by independent airline industry monitor Skytrax. The only other airline in this elite club is Qatar Airways.
Flanked by Qatar Airways cabin crew at Kuala Lumpur International Airport during the airline’s welcome ceremony, are from left: Managing Director of Malaysia Airports Holdings, Dato’ Bashir Ahmad bin Abdul Majid; Chairman of Malaysia Airports Holdings, Tan Sri Datuk Dr Aris bin Othman; Malaysian Deputy Transport Minister, Datuk Douglas Unggah Embas; Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker and Qatar Airways Senior Manager Commercial Operations Far East and Australasia, Marwan Koleilat at the airline’s welcome ceremony in Kuala Lumpur.
Speaking at a press conference at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Bali, Al Baker said that the launch of the Doha – Denpasar route would also accommodate growing passenger demand from Europe, Africa and the Middle East to South East Asia and beyond.
“Qatar Airways’ central hub in Doha allows us to feed passenger traffic to many key business and leisure centres around the world,” he said. “Bali is recognition of this strategic direction and we expect to bring an increasing number of passengers to this part of the world.
“The New Doha International Airport will further increase our capacity to handle passenger numbers as our network continues to expand,” he said during a presentation on the airline’s growth and future expansion plans.
Al Baker added that the New Doha International Airport was a major development for Qatar Airways, with the opening scheduled in 2009. Once open, the new airport will be capable of handling 12 million passengers a year. It will be one of the first airports in the world specifically designed to handle the twin-deck Airbus A380 ‘super jumbo’ – the largest passenger jet in the world.
Malaysian Deputy Transport Minister, Datuk Douglas Unggah Embas commended the outstanding performance of Qatar Airways and its operations to Kuala Lumpur since the airline launched flights to Malaysia. He expressed his desire for continued cooperation between the Malaysian government and Qatar Airways. Managing Director of Malaysia Airports Holdings, Dato’ Bashir Ahmad bin Abdul Majid praised the airline’s five-star status and identified Qatar Airways’ expansion as a great aviation success story. He also applauded the development of the current Doha International Airport as an important milestone in establishing Doha as a global transportation hub.
The addition of Bali and Ho Chi Minh City last week, saw Qatar Airways’ Far East network increase from 12 to 14 destinations. The airline already serves Hong Kong, Osaka, Beijing, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Yangon, Manila and Cebu.
Qatar Airways currently flies to 75 destinations worldwide with a modern fleet of 57 all-Airbus aircraft. The fleet size will double to more than 110 aircraft by 2015. In addition to Bali and Ho Chi Minh City, Qatar Airways is launching flights from Doha to five further destinations from this summer, including its first move into the US market with direct flights to New York and Washington DC. The additional routes are:-
- Geneva 4 flights a week from June 28
- New York 4 flights a week from June 28
- Washington DC 7 flights a week from July 19
- Stockholm 4 flights a week from November 30
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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