Manama, BAHRAIN - As official carrier, Qatar Airways flew world-renowned Indian ghazal maestro Pankaj Udhas to Bahrain as part of the performer's silver jubilee tour.
The legendary singer enthralled the crème de la crème in Bahrain with his concert Jashn at a spectacular evening held at the Crowne Plaza over the weekend. Mesmerising the audience comprising government officials, diplomats and over 1,000 fans, he performed over a dozen hit numbers including Chandi Jaisa Rang Hai Tera, Chitti Aai Hai, Sabko Maloom Hai Main Sharabi Nahin, Thodi Thodi Piya Karo and other popular numbers winning standing ovations at several intervals during the night.
During the show he was showered with rose petals and flower bouquets, transforming the evening into one of the hottest ghazal performances ever held in Bahrain.
Prior to the show, the singer attended a press conference in Manama and took a moment to thank Qatar Airways for flying him and his crew in style and comfort. He commented on the Five Star service inflight and the Premium Terminal at the airline's hub in Doha saying: "Courteous crew, a good inflight service and a comfortable seat make the journey memorable and I thank Qatar Airways for the excellent level of service on my journey from Mumbai to Doha and Bahrain. The facilities at the Premium Terminal certainly provided the journey with extra value and service."
He said his extensive and hectic travel schedule meant he always looked to fly in comfort to enable him to relax and unwind before a big performance.
"In the business I am in, it is very important to arrive in a destination fresh and in a positive frame of mind which is why the journey needs to be so comfortable and relaxing," he added.
Over the years, Pankaj Udhas, known as India's 'King of Hearts', has captured his audience across the globe. The concert in Bahrain was one of a series of performances during the past 12 months covering 25 cities across India and 110 worldwide.
The maestro's performances are known to have a noble air to them, and he is popularly known in the ghazal world as an 'aristocratic performer'. His rich voice truly 'hovers' over the accompaniment making for a subtle but brilliant experience.
Qatar Airways' General Manager Commercial Ali Al Rais said: "Qatar Airways is pleased to play a major role in welcoming Pankaj Udhas to Bahrain. People across the GCC and around the world have followed Mr. Udhas' career from his early years, and we are excited to offer Qatar Airway's Five Star service to such a world renowned performer."
Since 1978, the maestro has recorded over 38 albums and rendered songs for over 50 Hindi films. Pankaj Udhas released his first album Aahat, pioneering a revival of urdu poetry in music. His popularity has not weaned ever since. His albums include Lamha, Nashaa, Googhat, Nasheela, Jaaneman, Stolen Moments and his latest, In Search of Meer.
The legendary singer said he plans to bring his music and songs to Doha for a special concert early next year.
The singer's Bahraini performance comes just weeks after Qatar Airways' announcement to expand its routes into India. The Doha-based carrier announced it will launch twice-weekly fights to the central Indian city of Nagpur from September 23. Qatar Airways will start daily operations between Doha and Ahmedabad in the western Indian state of Gujarat on December 12.
Nagpur and Ahmedabad take the airline's network from 42 to 51 flights a week across eight Indian destinations. Qatar Airways already flies to Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Cochin, Trivandrum and Hyderabad.
Qatar Airways currently operates a modern fleet of 58 all-Airbus aircraft to 78 destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Far East, Indian subcontinent and North America. The highlight of this year's expansion has been the launch of flights to New York (Newark) and Washington DC - the airline's first move into the North American market.
With a growing international network, more travellers have an opportunity to use Qatar Airways' Premium Terminal at Doha International Airport which features facilities including a spa, jacuzzi, exclusive duty free shopping, business centre and fine dining. 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 and offers departing and transit passengers an excellent opportunity to relax and unwind prior to their flight.
Qatar Airways offers 37 flights a week from Bahrain to Doha with excellent onward connections to cities across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Far East, Indian Subcontinent and North America. Frequency is set to increase to 40 flights a week in early 2008.
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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