Shanghai, CHINA - Qatar Airways second appearance at the China International Travel Mart (CITM) signals further commitment to the airline’s expansion plans in China that will benefit the travelling public.
The four-day fair, jointly organised by the China National Tourism Administration, Shanghai Municipal People’s Government and General Administration of Civil Aviation of China is recognised as one of the largest and most influential international tourism fairs in Asia, and this year drew the attention of tourism organisations and personnel from around the world.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker was already anticipating next year’s event following the airline’s successful showing at Shanghai’s premier trade and consumer travel exhibition.
“The China International Travel Mart has become one of the most prestigious and well-organised travel fairs in the world. It is a top occasion for the Asian tourism industry and Qatar Airways is delighted to be a part of this exciting event,” said Al Baker.
“We certainly look forward to increasing our presence at CITM and inviting more passengers from the region to travel with Qatar Airways.”
Qatar Airways Senior Vice President Commercial for the region, Marwan Koleilat, applauded the CITM organisers for developing a communication platform for the Chinese tourism industry. Koleilat led an airline delegation at the travel fair, held at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre.
“In the past decade, China’s exceptional economic growth has boosted the development of the tourism industry here, and brought excellent opportunities to global airlines. We are delighted to be part of this process and we’ve positioned China as one of our key markets in Asia.”
Qatar Airways’ stand at the show featured the airline’s new corporate look, rolled out earlier this year. Its sleek, clean lines and bold logo presented a freshness and sophistication that exude confidence and success in line with the airline’s ambitions, according to Koleilat.
The exhibition stand also featured two working Business Class seats for visitors to sample the Qatar Airways’ in-flight experience, as well as a demonstration model of Qatar Airways’ latest state-of-the-art in-flight entertainment system, now onboard the airline’s Boeing 777 aircraft.
The airline has achieved rapid growth in China so far in 2008, opening new offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chengdu, and also launching direct flights from Guangzhou to the airline’s operational hub in Doha, State of Qatar.
Qatar Airways currently operates 21 scheduled flights a week to China from its hub in Doha, capital of the State of Qatar. The capital, Beijing, is served four times a week; Shanghai five times weekly; Hong Kong once daily; and Guangzhou receives five flights a week.
Marwan Koleilat added: “Qatar and China are celebrating 20 years of bilateral relations this year and the relationship between both countries has grown from strength to strength. I hope that more and more Chinese travellers will be able to experience our world-renowned five-star service in the near future.”
Qatar Airways operates a young and modern fleet of 64 Boeing and Airbus aircraft, serving 83 cities across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, South Asia, the Far East and North America. It currently has outstanding orders for a further 200 aircraft, worth around US$40 billion.
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 2010. 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
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