Dubai, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Qatar Airways kicked off its biggest ever presence at the Middle East’s leading travel trade show today with a huge promotion of its new routes to Houston, Guangzhou and the southern Indian city of Kozhikode.
The route expansion is the highlight of Qatar Airways’ attendance at Arabian Travel Market, a four-day event in Dubai, where the airline’s new-look exhibition stand is also making its debut.
His Highness Sheikh Ahmad bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Department Of Civil Aviation Dubai and Chairman of Emirates Airline Group officially opened the show, taking place at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.
During a walkabout on the opening day, Sheikh Ahmad visited Qatar Airways’ stand, where he was given a short tour by Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker.
Al Baker briefed Sheikh Ahmad on developments at the airline and the New Doha International Airport, of which a scale model was on full display. The new airport is slated to open in 2010 with an initial capacity of 24 million passengers a year.
Chinese lion dancers, Indian cultural dancers and traditional American line dancers promoting Qatar Airways’ three new routes, provided buzz and excitement on the exhibition stand attracting scores of visitors.
The Chinese lion dance troupe performed to the sound of traditional drums in celebration of Qatar Airways’ Chinese expansion. Flights to the southern Chinese port city of Guangzhou, launched on March 31, strengthened the airline’s network in China to 21 services a week spread across four cities.
Classical southern Indian dancers helped create awareness of Kozhikode, formerly known as Calicut, which will become Qatar Airways’ ninth Indian route when daily non-stop flights are launched from Doha on June 15.
And American country dancers proved a real crowd puller in celebration of the November 10 launch of non-stop flights linking Doha with Qatar Airways’ third US city – Houston, which will be one of the world’s longest non-stop flights of just under 17 hours.
“Our attendance at Arabian Travel Market this year is extra special as it is our biggest ever presence, with a great new-look exhibition stand and fantastic entertainment throughout the four-day show,” said Al Baker.
“We look forward to welcoming trade visitors and industry colleagues from around the world for what promises to be four days of productive business meetings and give them updates of Qatar Airways’ remarkable expansion plans over the next few years.”
The entertainment activities are flanked by an impressive video wall which is a key feature of the new and modern stand providing visitors with a visual glimpse of the airline’s award-winning facilities.
Qatar Airways currently operates a young and modern fleet of 62 Airbus and Boeing aircraft to 82 destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Indian subcontinent, Far East and North America.
Qatar Airways currently operates 98 flights a week between Doha and the United Arab Emirates, comprising 56 weekly services to Dubai and 42 flights a week to Abu Dhabi
Qatar Airways is one of an elite group of carriers with a Five Star ranking for service and excellence awarded by Skytrax, the independent aviation industry research company. 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. Qatar Airways carries around 10 million passengers a year. For more information, log onto www.qatarairways.com. For further information on the New Doha International Airport, visit www.ndiaproject.com
Qatar Airways Corporate Communications
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