Lagos, NIGERIA - Qatar Airways has celebrated the launch of its second new route of 2007 with its inaugural flight to Nigeria's commercial capital of Lagos.
Qatar Airways' maiden flight from Doha to Lagos arrived at the city's Murtala Mohammed International Airport with the country's former soccer captain Jay Jay Okocha among passengers on the first flight.
Okocha currently plays for the Qatar League side Qatar Sports Club. The popular footballer, famous for his flamboyant style of play, and other passengers onboard QR 594 were welcomed on arrival by a Qatar Airways delegation from the airline's Lagos office.
Qatar Airways operates three-flights-a-week between its hub in Doha, capital of the State of Qatar, and Lagos using the airline's state-of-the-art Airbus A330 aircraft, in a two-class configuration of Business and Economy.
With 130 million people, Nigeria is Africa's most populated country and its main industry being petroleum and related products. Nigeria is currently one of the world's biggest oil producers. With natural oil and gas the mainstay of Qatar's economy, there are significant business and commercial interests in bridging links between both countries.
The addition of Lagos widens Qatar Airways' African network that spans the entire continent, from Casablanca in the west and Cairo in the north to Nairobi and Dar es Salaam in the east and Cape Town in the south.
"Lagos is a vitally important commercial and business centre and with the strong oil and gas interests in both Qatar and Nigeria, we expect a high level of business on the route, as well as from key feeder markets of the GCC countries," said Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker.
Lagos is destination number 72 for Qatar Airways, one of the fastest growing airlines in the world, which operates scheduled flights from Doha to cities across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Indian subcontinent and Far East with a modern fleet of 53 all-Airbus aircraft.
The Doha-based airline looks forward to 2007 as a year of huge expansion with non-stop scheduled services planned to several key destinations around the world, including Bali, Ho Chi Minh City, New York, Chennai, Ahmedabad and two, as yet to be announced, cities in northern and eastern 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.
The Doha – Lagos schedules, effective 1 March 2007 are:-
Depart Doha International Airport
Wednesday QR592 at 0730, arrive Lagos at 1320
Thursday QR594 at 1300, arrive Lagos at 1850
Sunday QR592 at 0100, arrive Lagos at 0650
Depart Lagos Murtala Muhammed International Airport
Wednesday QR593 at 1500, arrive Doha International at 2335
Thursday QR595 at 2210, arrive Doha International at 0645
Sunday QR593 at 1115, arrive Doha International at 1950
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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