New York, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – Qatar Airways rounded off its New York launch celebrations on Thursday night with a star-studded gala dinner in the country’s financial capital.
Celebrities from across the New York social, business and entertainment scene joined Qatar Airways at the launch party, held in The Allen Room – a spectacular venue at the city’s Jazz at Lincoln Center, just off Broadway.
Business tycoon Donald Trump, Hollywood stars Andie MacDowell and Julianne Moore, and the US Ambassador to the State of Qatar, His Excellency Chase Untermeyer were among the guests at the lavish red carpet event.
The event attracted a host of celebrities from stage, screen and music – Maggie Gyllenhaal, Peter Sarsgaard, Chloe Sevigny, Gayle King, Olivia Chantecaille, CeCe Cord, Tara Subkoff, Stephen and Christine Schwarzman, Allen & Deborah Grubman, Nina Griscom, Dennis Basso, Marjorie Gubelmann, Sloan Lindemann Barnett, Eric Villency and Kimberly Guilfoyle, Anne Dexter Jones, Nina Griscom, Mary McFadden, Rufus Albermarle, Thom Browne.
New York’s paparazzi were out in force as guests arrived for a night of entertainment with the sensational Ms Diana Ross performing many of the hit songs from her illustrious career. A magnificent visual symphony showcasing Qatar Airways’ award-winning Five Star service and the sights and sounds of the State of Qatar, kept guests thoroughly enthralled.
Master of ceremonies for the event was actress Andie MacDowell. She introduced the stellar line-up for the evening, including CNN International TV presenter and host of “CNN Business Traveller,” Richard Quest, together with host of the night, Qatar Airways Chief Executive Office Akbar Al Baker, who spoke of his pride in finally bringing Qatar Airways and its Five Star service to New York.
The evening ended with a standing ovation for Ms Ross’ performance. The event was organised by New York-based celebrity style guru and party planner Colin Cowie. A connoisseur of style, Cowie’s impressive client list includes Oprah Winfrey, Jerry Seinfeld, Jennifer Lopez, Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Michael Jordan and Hugh Hefner.
Quest, who logs in excess of 300,000 air miles each year, spoke lovingly of the way travel has changed, with more and more people able to traverse the globe.
He said: “The addition of Qatar Airways’ award-winning service to the United States means that we – the travellers and frequent flyers – all win.”
Al Baker spoke of the airline’s proud moment as it flew into Newark from Doha on Tuesday night, marking the airline’s first flights to the United States.
“This week Qatar Airways made history when we touched down in the United States for the first time,” he said, adding, “it marked the first step of the airline’s expansion into the US market.
“Tonight we are celebrating our inaugural services to New York with this wonderful gala dinner which I promise will keep New Yorkers talking for a long time. We have brought our Five Star hospitality all the way to New York with four flights a week and, from July 19, we will enter the Washington DC market with our renowned service, non-stop daily from Doha.
“Qatar Airways looks forward to growing our international network further in the US as we explore other route opportunities here in the world’s largest aviation market. I promise we are here to stay and will further make our mark in the US with our new Washington services next month and more destinations in the pipeline.”
Al Baker added that Qatar Airways’ proposed codeshare partnership with United Airlines would give the traveling public greater choice with more destinations to fly to across the United States.
The award-winning airline, currently in its 10th year of operations, now serves 77 destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Indian subcontinent, Far East and America with a modern fleet of 58 all-Airbus aircraft.
Qatar Airways is the only Middle East carrier flying to Newark Liberty International Airport, offering passengers from across the Gulf countries and feeder markets in the Indian subcontinent with excellent onward connections across the USA. The airline will also be the only Middle East carrier flying daily non-stop services to the US capital Washington, DC.
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