New York , UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – Qatar Airways’ maiden flight to North America touched down at Newark Liberty International Airport , the first step of the carrier’s expansion into the US market.
The new service from Doha, capital of the State of Qatar, to Newark – gateway to New York City – also marked another first as the flight operated via Geneva , the airline’s newest European destination, taking its international network to 77 destinations.
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.
Addressing media at a press conference in New York yesterday, Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said the airline, one of the world’s fastest growing carriers, had at last fulfilled a long-held ambition to serve the United States.
“Yesterday was an historic moment for Qatar Airways as we arrived in America with our new flights from Doha and Geneva ,” he said, speaking at the Four Seasons Hotel.
“Our global reach now extends to America, adding to the many cities we serve in Europe, Africa, Indian subcontinent and the Far East. Our Newark services are a stepping stone to further expansion in the United States . From July 19, Qatar Airways will launch flights between Doha and Washington DC, making us the only Middle East airline serving the US capital with daily non-stop scheduled services.
“I would like to thank the authorities in both America and Qatar for making our historic route a reality today, a route that forges business and trade links between our two countries.
The Newark route is operated with the carrier’s state-of-the-art Airbus A330 aircraft in a three-class configuration. The airline operates 12 seats in First Class – seats that convert into flat beds – 18 seats in Business Class, which offer generous space with 160 degree recline, and 208 seats in Economy.
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 .
From theNewark area, passengers will be able to experience the airline’s award-winning Five Star service to Geneva and onwards to Doha, with a host of connections from our hub to cities across the Middle East, Africa, Indian subcontinent and Far East.
Qatar Airways is one of only five airlines in the world with a Five Star ranking for service and excellence awarded by Skytrax, the independent aviation industry monitoring agency. And its cabin crew has been voted Best in the Middle East for an unprecedented four years running in 2006.
Al Baker went on: “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.”
During the press briefing, Al Baker spoke of Qatar Airways’ rapid rise to become one of the fastest growing airlines in the world. He spoke of the airline’s recent US$16 billion order for 80 new Airbus A350 aircraft and the New Doha International Airport , being project managed by US-based engineering giant Bechtel. The first phase of the US$5.5 billion new airport is scheduled to open in 2009.
He also gave the media an insight into the world’s first commercial passenger terminal dedicated to First and Business Class passengers, which opened at Doha International Airport at the end of 2006. The Premium Terminal features facilities including a spa, jacuzzi, exclusive duty free shopping, business centre and fine dining restaurants. Built in just nine months, the US$90 million terminal is for exclusive use of Qatar Airways’ departing First and Business Class passengers.
To celebrate the US launch, Qatar Airways is planning a star-studded red carpet gala dinner event in New York tomorrow night with the sensational Ms Diana Ross performing some of her hit songs. The event is being been organised by New York-based celebrity style guru Colin Cowie.
DOHA – GENEVA – NEW YORK ( NEWARK ) Schedules:
Doha – Geneva
Tue, Thu, Sat and Sun
Geneva – New York (Newark)
Tue, Thu, Sat and Sun
New York (Newark) – Geneva
Tue, Thu, Sat and Sun
Geneva - Doha
Mon, Wed, Fri and Sun
* Arrival the following day.
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