Tokyo, JAPAN – Qatar Airways’ expanding Far East operations show no signs of slowing down, according to the airline’s Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker.
With over 200 aircraft scheduled for delivery from now until well into the next decade, the airline is in a formidable position to continue its unprecedented growth, especially in the key Asian markets of Japan and China, Al Baker said.
“Our aggressive expansion programme will see Qatar Airways continue to open new routes in this region and build on our already impressive network of destinations,” he said.
Qatar Airways last week made its fifth appearance at the Japan Association of Travel Agents (JATA) World Travel Fair held in Tokyo, one of the largest travel trade shows in Asia.
The exhibition, which concluded Sunday, saw over 100,000 visitors crowd the almost 1000 exhibitors from 134 countries.
In Tokyo for the event, Qatar Airways Senior Vice President Commercial Operations for the region Marwan Koleilat said that JATA again proved to be a fantastic platform for foreign companies to mix with the local travel trade and promote their products and services.
“More than 80% of the total business on our Osaka route comes out of Japan, so local traffic is obviously a vitally important part of our market and our growth strategy,” he said.
The airline’s JATA display highlighted Qatar Airways’ new corporate look, rolled out earlier this year. Its sleek, clean lines and bold logo present a freshness and sophistication that exudes confidence, according to Koleilat.
The 72 square-metre stand featured two operating Business Class seats that visitors at the exhibition could sample. Airline cabin crew, also on the stand, were on hand to complete the in-flight experience.
Qatar Airways currently operates daily flights from Kansai International Airport in Osaka, as well as codeshare flights to Hanada Airport in Tokyo.
The route between Doha and Osaka was launched in April 2005, initially with a four flights per week frequency, and shifted to a daily service in March last year. Currently, Osaka is serviced using a state-of-the-art Airbus A330 with 24 Business Class seats and up to 259 Economy Class seats.
The airline has a modern fleet of 63 Airbus and Boeing aircraft to 83 destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, South Asia, Far East and North America. The airline currently has outstanding orders for more than 200 aircraft worth over US$30 billion, and is spearheading a US$9 billion development of New Doha International Airport, which is scheduled to open in 2011.
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
Qatar Airways Corporate Communications
Tel: +974 4496956, Fax: +974 4620132