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Qatar Airways Celebrates The End Of A Successful 2008 With The Delivery Of Boeing 777-300ER

Doha, QATAR – As 2008 draws to a close, Qatar’s national carrier has welcomed the arrival of the fifth Boeing 777-300ER to join its rapidly growing fleet in a move to increase the airline’s capacity to South East Asia.

The new aircraft touched down at Doha International Airport at 13.50 on Tuesday 23 December following its long flight from Seattle and is the perfect way to round-up what has been an enormously successful year for the Five Star carrier.

The airline is undergoing an aggressive expansion strategy over the next two years with outstanding orders for more than 200 aircraft worth around USD 40$ billion.

The latest Boeing aircraft to join the fleet will be deployed on flights between Doha and Manila from January 2009 and continues to compound the firm relationship that has been established between Qatar Airways and the leading American aircraft manufacturer.

Qatar Airways currently operates 11 flights a week to the Philippine capital.

The 335-seat Boeing 777-300 Extended Range passenger aircraft features 42 seats in Business Class in a 2–2–2 configuration, each offering a generous pitch of 78 inches and individual TV screens measuring 15.4 inches. Economy Class has 293 seats in a 3–3–3 configuration with a 32-inch pitch and 10.6- inch TV screens, designed to offer optimum viewing. Both Business and Economy class cabins offer in-seat PC power supply.

The aircraft also features a revamped inflight entertainment system, Oryx Entertainment, offering each passenger more than 700 entertainment options.

Qatar Airways has confirmed orders for fourteen Boeing 777-300ERs, six 777-200LRs and seven 777-200Fs, with deliveries running until mid-2010. There are options for a further five Boeing 777 aircraft. The two passenger Boeing 777 variants will facilitate a major expansion in the airline’s long haul passenger network.

The Boeing 777-200 freighters, which will be delivered from 2009, provide outstanding economics enabling Qatar Airways to build up an efficient cargo hub linking Europe and Asia, supplemented by its regional wide-body freighters.

This time last year, Qatar Airways strengthened its relationship with Boeing by confirming orders for 30 of the company’s next generation Boeing 787 aircraft with options for a further 30. The airline will become the first Middle East carrier to operate both Boeing 777s and Boeing 787s.

Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker said: “The arrival of the fifth Boeing 777 in Qatar Airways’ colours underlines the already strong and fruitful relationship that the carrier has with one of the world’s leading aircraft manufacturers.”

“Tuesday 23 December marked a day of celebration for the airline, its staff and all its loyal customers.”

He continued: “As the year comes to an end, and the country winds down to enjoy the festive season, Qatar Airways was able to celebrate the arrival of the latest Boeing 777 to join the airline’s already four-strong Boeing 777 fleet. This recent addition is a momentous way to end what has been a truly historic year for the national carrier of Qatar which has seen, amongst other things, ten award wins, delivery of brand new aircraft and the launch of several new routes on both its passenger and cargo networks as well as increased frequency on existing ones.”

“The Boeing 777 aircraft offers the greatest levels of space and comfort across our long-haul fleet. With a 78-inch Business Class pitch, our 42 premium seats are undoubtedly the best in the region. Our 293 seats in Economy offer the greatest levels of comfort in this cabin than any other airline in the region,” concluded Al Baker.

The addition of this new Boeing 777-300ER means that Qatar Airways now operates a young and modern fleet of 65 Boeing and Airbus aircraft serving 83 cities across Europe, Middle East, Africa, South Asia, Far East and North America.

About Qatar Airways: 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 one of the customers of the twin-deck Airbus A380 ‘super jumbos’ with five on order and scheduled for delivery from 2012. At the Farnborough Air Show in July, the airline also ordered six Airbus A321s. Qatar Airways is due to move to the New Doha International Airport in 2011 when the first phase of the new facility is scheduled to open. 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 sixth year running in 2008 and the airline was voted Best in the Middle East for the third year in a row 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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