Doha, QATAR - Qatar Airways Cargo has expanded its international operations with the introduction of a third aircraft into its freighter fleet and the launch of seven new cargo-only destinations.
The Airbus A300-600F took to the skies following its conversion from a passenger to a cargo aircraft. Earlier this year, Qatar Airways Cargo introduced its second freighter as part of a long-term strategy to develop an international network of cargo flights.
With the addition of the third freighter, Qatar Airways Cargo has significantly increased the number of destinations it serves worldwide from 9 to 16 cities. During the past six months alone, the freighter network has been transformed radically with new destinations and a new-look cargo warehouse at Doha International Airport.
The new destinations are Algiers, Tunis, Milan, Istanbul, Karachi, Colombo and Johor Bahru in Malaysia. They supplement other destinations already in the network - Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Khartoum, Dubai, Nairobi, Bangalore, Chennai, Lahore and Dhaka.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said that cargo represented a vital component of the airline's global operations.
"We have a clear strategy to develop our passenger side of the business to key business and leisure destinations worldwide. Similarly, we are building our cargo operation to key markets around the world using Doha as a key hub," he said.
"We will, over the next two years increase our cargo operation further as more A300 freighters are introduced and the first of our two new Boeing 777 freighters are delivered. These are scheduled for delivery from Summer 2009."
Qatar Airways General Manager Cargo John Batten added: "With the addition of the new cargo aircraft and more destinations, Qatar Airways is able to offer cargo agents and freight forwarders a wider choice of cities for their shipments. I am pleased to say that Qatar Airways Cargo has come a long way over the years to become a formidable force today."
To cope with the increase in business, arising from the rapid expansion of Qatar Airways' fleet, the cargo division has expanded its warehouse facilities. The 40 per cent increase in space includes a new import and export warehouse, cold storage and freezer facilities. Qatar Airways Cargo recently relocated its operational offices to the airport.
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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