Doha, QATAR – Qatar Airways remains on schedule to launch daily non-stop flights between Doha and New York on October 26 despite the continuing Boeing strike affecting aircraft deliveries.
The Doha-based airline has been given assurances by Boeing that its fourth Boeing 777-300 Extended Range aircraft to be used on the route, will be delivered in time and not affect the New York operational schedule.
Once delivered, the aircraft will be paired with a second Boeing 777, which arrived in Doha at the end of August, to begin the daily non-stop service linking the Qatari capital with New York’s JFK International Airport.
“Qatar Airways’ existing New York operation has proved very successful since its launch in Summer 2007 and we look forward to offering our customers an enhanced service to and from one of the world’s most important cities by switching the flights from Newark to JFK,” said Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker.
“Our new daily non-stop flight from Doha to New York’s JFK International Airport further strengthens our commitment to serving the North American continent. We already serve Washington non-stop from Doha so the additional capacity into New York will give us double daily flights between Qatar and the United States.”
Meanwhile, Al Baker announced plans to defer the launch of the carrier’s third US route connecting Doha and Houston – the energy capitals of the Middle East and United States – to March 30 next year due to aircraft delivery schedules affected by the current strike by Boeing employees.
The first of Qatar Airways’ Boeing 777-200 Long Range aircraft to be used on the route was due to be delivered in November ahead of the scheduled December 8 Houston launch. But due to uncertainty over future aircraft deliveries arising from the Boeing machinist’s strike, Qatar Airways has decided to postpone the launch to March 30, 2009.
Al Baker said that the strike had severely affected the airline’s Houston plans.
“There is no possibility of being able to operate the Houston route as planned due to the unfortunate events at Boeing so we decided to shift the launch date to a more reasonable time in March next year. This way, we can be assured of having available the required long-range aircraft to serve Houston,” he added.
“We are committed to serving Houston and have worked tirelessly over the past few months, injecting tremendous effort and energy in preparing for a December launch.
“Qatar Airways is taking all steps necessary to contact passengers who have booked tickets to and from Houston and assist them with making alternative travel arrangements,“ explained Al Baker.
“We remain determined to provide the travelling public with the highest quality of service and product available in the skies, and we look forward to offering our 5-star service on a growing number of routes, including Houston, in the near future.”
Since November 2007, the airline has received three of the 32 Boeing 777 variants on order from Boeing. Two B777-300 Extended Range aircraft are currently deployed on the airline’s Doha – Washington DC route non-stop, while a third is operating intra-Gulf services awaiting the arrival of the fourth aircraft when it will be shifted to the Doha – New York JFK route.
The Boeing 777-300ER being deployed on the New York route and Boeing 777-200LR for use on the Houston service, both feature 180 degrees lie-flat Business Class seats and the state-of-the-art Panasonic eX2 in-flight entertainment system with over 700 audio video on demand entertainment options for every passenger.
Qatar Airways currently operates a modern fleet of 63 Airbus and Boeing aircraft from its Doha hub to 83 key business and leisure cities across Europe, Middle East, Africa, South Asia, Far East and North America.
About Qatar Airways: Qatar Airways currently has huge expansion plans. It 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 is due to move to the New Doha International Airport in 2011, 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 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
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