Ho Chi Minh City, VIETNAM - Qatar Airways has celebrated its first appearance at the International Travel Exhibition (ITE) in Ho Chi Minh City, with a successful participation as one of the event's key sponsors.
The travel trade and consumer show, considered one of the highlights of the travel calendar in the region, has grown in significance with Laos, Cambodia and host country Vietnam among the many nations that took part.
Record numbers of visitors attended the three-day event, which ended on Sunday at the Phu Tho Exhibition Centre in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam's commercial capital. The event attracted more than 120 international buyers from 22 countries.
Qatar Airways launched direct flights to Ho Chi Minh City in March from its hub in Doha, State of Qatar, becoming the first carrier in the Middle East to serve the country of Vietnam.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said the expanded format at this year's ITE travel show highlighted its growing importance as a platform to promote outbound tourism from the region.
"Qatar Airways is delighted to be supporting travel to and from this part of the world with our four weekly non-stop flights which are part of our ever-growing international network," said Al Baker.
"The brand new international terminal at Tan Son Nhat Airport is an outstanding example of Ho Chi Minh City's status as a major travel destination, as well as being a point of origin for increasing numbers of passenger traffic."
Tourism ministers from Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam officially opened the exhibition following high-level meetings between the participating tourism authorities. Delegations from each of the three "Jewels of the Mekong" combined their efforts to create the largest event in ITE's history.
Qatar Airways, one of the show's sponsors, exhibited a state-of-the-art stand at the event, which featured Business Class seats complete with cabin crew assistance to help create an onboard experience for visitors.
There were also flat-screen televisions displaying the airline's latest corporate video, together with refreshments for visitors, destination brochures and in-flight magazines.
Qatar Airways Senior Manager Commercial Operations Far East and Australasia Marwan Koleilat was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation from the event organisers for the airline's participation at ITE.
"We enjoyed highlighting our award-winning Five Star service at this important event and look forward to facilitating the growing number of people looking to travel from this region throughout Qatar Airways' expanding network," said Koleilat.
The increase in passenger numbers is expected to allow more premium class travellers flying Qatar Airways with access to its exclusive 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 – Ho Chi Minh City schedules are:-
Depart Doha International Airport
Tue, Fri, Sat QR688 at 0745, arrive Tan Son Nhat Intl at 1920
Sun QR688 at 2359, arrive Tan Son Nhat Intl at 1135 following day
Depart Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City
Mon, Tue, Fri, Sat QR689 at 2030, arrive Doha International at 2359
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
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