Doha, QATAR - Qatar Airways has entered into an agreement with Qatar Islamic Bank for the funding of its newest Airbus A340-600 aircraft, which is due to be delivered to the airline at the end of the month.
The agreement is Qatar Airways' first under Islamic principles and part of the airline's committed strategy to diversify its financing options as the company's fleet size grows.
The new aircraft will be Qatar Airways' fourth A340-600 and will be used to operate long-haul routes to Asia and North America. It has 266 seats in a three-class configuration of 8 First Class, 42 Business Class and 216 Economy Class. The aircraft features unique facilities such as a dedicated First Class lounge for passengers to unwind and relax.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker signed the agreement with his CEO counterpart at Qatar Islamic Bank, Salah Al Jaidah at the airline's headquarters in Doha.
"We are pleased to be introducing Qatar Islamic Bank to our group of relationship banks," said Al Baker.
"This is part of Qatar Airways' funding diversification plans and we hope the agreement we have entered into with Qatar Islamic Bank will be one of many to help drive forward Qatar Airways' business."
Salah Al Jaidah added: "The lease-to-own agreement signed between the two parties is the first step towards forging a long-standing strategic partnership with Qatar Airways."
Qatar Airways is a vibrant airline that is growing at an unprecedented rate, with its fleet, passengers and routes increasing in number year on year.
During the month of March alone, Qatar Airways takes delivery of four brand new Airbus aircraft - including its fourth long-range A340-600 - and launches three routes from Doha to Chennai, Denpasar in Bali and Vietnam's commercial centre of Ho Chi Minh City.
During the summer, Qatar Airways takes its first steps into the US market with flights to New York and Washington DC, together with Geneva and Stockholm following later this year.
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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