Dubai, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Qatar Airways today unveiled further details of its summer expansion programme which sees the airline’s award-winning Five Star service spread to the United States for the first time.
The addition of New York from June 28 and Washington DC, beginning July 19, will further boost the airline’s rapidly growing international network from its Doha hub to beyond 75 destinations worldwide.
Qatar Airways will fly four-times-a-week between its operational hub of Doha and Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey on the US east coast. The flight will operate via Geneva – the airline’s second destination in Switzerland – following its successful services to Zurich, also operated four-times-a-week.
The launch of the US flights is the highlight of Qatar Airways’ route expansion programme during 2007, which sees a further seven cities added to the airline’s burgeoning international network.
Addressing media today at a packed press briefing during Arabian Travel Market in Dubai, Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker presented an update on the airline’s growth plans to the United States and new destinations during 2007.
"Qatar Airways is preparing for its biggest route launches of the year with both New York and Washington DC coming on line this summer," he said, speaking at the Middle East’s premier travel trade event, currently being held at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.
"We look forward to adding yet another continent to our growing network offering our passengers flying from Doha and other cities across the GCC and the Indian subcontinent with excellent connections to both New York and Washington DC."
Al Baker said that flights to the United States were an historic move for Qatar Airways in a year, which has seen the airline already launch services to Dar es Salaam, Lagos, Chennai, Bali and Ho Chi Minh City.
Our Five Star service is renowned worldwide and we are extremely delighted to widen our reach to the United States and offer the travelling public a long-awaited service between the Middle East and US east coast.
"Qatar Airways will be the first airline from the Middle East to serve Washington DC and Newark International Airport, the gateway to New York City. Both cities promise to be key selling destinations for Qatar Airways."
He added: “Qatar Airways recognises the importance of key neighbouring markets like the UAE to feed traffic onto our network and I am pleased to announce that we are stepping up frequency on the Doha – Dubai route with an additional daily flight, taking our operation from seven to eight flights a day.
"With 56 flights a week connecting Dubai with Doha, we really are offering passengers greater choice, comfort and the reason to fly with Qatar Airways," said Al Baker.
In his presentation to the media, Al Baker spoke of the airline’s new US campaign across the GCC to promote the US routes and updated the regional and world press on the development of the New Doha International Airport, which is scheduled to open in 2009.
At the trade show in Dubai, Qatar Airways stepped out in style with cheerleaders, and Marilyn Monroe and Elvis impersonators entertaining visitors on the airline’s stand throughout the four-day event.
Qatar Airways currently operates a modern fleet of 57 all-Airbus aircraft to 75 destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Far East and the Indian subcontinent. The new US flights from Doha will offer excellent connections to and from the GCC markets.
With a growing international network, more travellers 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 including a spa, jacuzzi, duty free, business centre and fine dining restaurants. 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.
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