New York, UNITED STATES - Readers of the prestigious US-based Global Traveler magazine have voted Qatar Airways Best Airline in the Middle East - a fitting accolade in a year when the Doha-based airline prepares to launch flights to America.
The airline was awarded the honour after readers participated in the survey, which ran in the magazine over a seven-month period from February 2006 to August 2006.
Qatar Airways picked up the prestigious award at the Jumeirah Essex House in New York, where Francis X. Gallagher, publisher and CEO of Global Traveler, honoured all the winners at a gala ceremony.
This summer, Qatar Airways will enter the US market for the first time with scheduled flights between Doha, capital of the State of Qatar, and America's financial capital of New York City.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker expressed his delight at the latest award in a market which the airline was preparing to enter with vigour.
"Considering that Qatar Airways has not yet even started flying to the United States, we are delighted to receive this highly prestigious award from readers of Global Traveler," he said.
"I would like to thank the readers of Global Traveler for this wonderful award. It demonstrates that the American public is well travelled to all parts of the world and for a young and rapidly developing airline to be recognised as the Best in the Middle East is a wonderful recognition of our achievements.
'We strive to be the best in what we do and our standards are already among the best in the world. Qatar Airways is extremely honoured and looks forward to taking our Five Star service to the US market this summer.'
Qatar Airways has entered 2007 in buoyant mood celebrating the 10th anniversary of its relaunch with nine new destinations planned during the year.
Dar es Salaam, the commercial and financial centre of Tanzania, became the newest addition to Qatar Airways' family of routes when direct non-stop services were launched to the city on January 9.
During 2007, Qatar Airways also plans to add Bali, Ho Chi Minh City, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Lagos and two cities in eastern and northern Europe. With a growing international network, Al Baker added that more travellers would have an opportunity to use Qatar Airways' brand new Premium Terminal at Doha International Airport, exclusively for departing First and Business Class passengers.
The Premium Terminal features facilities such as a spa, jacuzzi, duty free, business centre and fine dining restaurants. Built in just nine months, the terminal is the world's first commercial passenger building dedicated to First and Business Class passengers.
Francis X. Gallagher added: "Our readers have recognised Qatar Airways and other winners in the annual awards as the cream of the crop. I would like to congratulate all our winners for their achievements in the world of travel and the work they do that puts them a step ahead of the competition."
About the Global Traveler Survey
Global Traveler is a monthly business travel publication that takes into account the sophisticated lifestyle interests of today's executive travellers. Circulated across the United States, Global Traveler is the only ABC-audited American magazine for the international business traveller.
Global Traveler conducted the third annual survey of its readers with open-ended questions for the best in 42 categories of business and luxury travel. A total of 13,653 completed questionnaires were received. The questionnaires were made available in subscriber copies of the magazine and online at the Global Traveler website.
Survey respondents spent an average of 61 nights last year on international business trips and 76 nights on domestic business trips. They took an average of 18 international flights and 21 domestic flights per person during the survery period. Of all respondents, 76 per cent were male and 24 per cent were female; average age was 45.
About Qatar Airways
Qatar Airways is one of only four 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 fourth year running in 2006 and second best worldwide following a survey of more than 12 million passengers worldwide.
The airline's fleet of 53 aircraft will more than double in size to 110 by 2015. Qatar Airways plans to acquire 60 Airbus A350s and 22 Boeing 777s, with deliveries of the latter beginning in November 2007. The airline is a launch customer of the twin-deck Airbus A380 "super jumbos" with four aircraft on order and scheduled for delivery from 2009 to coincide with the opening of the New Doha International Airport.
For the financial year that ended in March 2006, Qatar Airways carried more than 6.3 million passengers worldwide. The projected passenger figure for the 2006/07 financial year is 8 million.
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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