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Qatar Airways CEO Praises Resilience Of Bali's Tourism Industry At Launch Celebrations

Denpasar, BALI - Qatar Airways this week broke new ground by becoming the first Middle Eastern carrier to begin flights to the Indonesian island of Bali. The move enhances Qatar Airways' expanding network in the Far East, according to its Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker, who was in Bali to celebrate the launch of the new destination.

"We look forward to bringing passengers to this tropical paradise from throughout our international network, especially from Europe, Africa and the Middle East. Likewise, we anticipate many business travellers will be looking to take advantage of the new Doha to Bali connection," he said.

Al Baker praised the island's tourism sector for its resilience having facing tremendous challenges over the past few years. He expressed delight that Qatar Airways was able to launch flights to the island which, he said, would undoubtedly help bring in tourists from around the world and give the island's tourism industry a huge boost.

Qatar Airways' first flight from Doha to Bali landed in the island's capital, Denpasar on March 25 and was greeted with typical tropical island flair. The Doha-based carrier serves Denpasar four-times-a-week with an Airbus A300 aircraft, in a two-class configuration of up to 30 seats in Business Class and 186 seats in Economy.

The island of Bali is famous as Indonesia's tourist capital, drawing in hundreds of thousands of visitors a year. Most notably, Bali has recently seen large increases in tourism numbers from Europe, the Middle East and other parts of Asia. The island province is also growing in stature as a business hub, becoming Indonesia's second most prominent place to do business.

Qatar Airways views Bali as an important part of a wider expansion plan into Asia. The addition of Bali, as well as Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam this week sees Qatar Airways now flying to 14 destinations across the Far East, with Hong Kong, Osaka, Beijing, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Yangon, Manila and Cebu, all part of its growing Asian network.

The airline aims to double the size of its fleet to more than 110 aircraft by 2015, as well as continually adding to its current list of 75 destinations worldwide.

The 2007 summer programme for Qatar Airways sees several new destinations across Asia, North America, India and Europe as the company continues its quest to be recognised as the world's best airline.

The new routes are:

  • Chennai - DAILY from March 24

  • Bali - 4 flights a week from March 24

  • Ho Chi Minh City - 4 flights a week from March 25

  • Geneva - 4 flights a week from June 28

  • New York - 4 flights a week from June 28

  • Washington - DAILY from Summer 2007

  • Stockholm - 4 flights a week from November 2007

Al Baker said with new routes being added to the airline's network each year, more passengers flying Qatar Airways First and Business Class can use the carrier's exclusive Premium Terminal at Doha International Airport, where they can unwind and relax before catching their flight.

The Premium Terminal features facilities such as a spa, jacuzzi, duty free, business centre, fine dining restaurants and bedrooms. Built in just nine months, the US$90 million terminal is the world's first commercial passenger building dedicated to First and Business Class passengers

The Doha - Denpasar schedules, effective 24 March 2007 are:

Depart Doha International Airport
Tuesday - QR624 at 2320, arrive Denpasar at 1605 following day
Wednesday - QR624 at 2320, arrive Denpasar at 1605 following day
Saturday - QR624 at 2320, arrive Denpasar at 1605 following day
Sunday - QR624 at 2320, arrive Denpasar at 1605 following day

Depart Denpasar International Airport
Monday - QR625 at 0335, arrive Doha at 1005
Tuesday - QR625 at 0005, arrive Doha at 0630
Thursday - QR625 at 0005, arrive Doha at 0630
Friday - QR625 at 0005, arrive Doha at 0630

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
E-mail: qrmedia@qatarairways.com.qa

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