New York, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – Qatar Airways concluded of a series of office openings in the United States with an official ceremony in New York City attended by a host of local dignitaries, celebrities and influential business people.
The opening of three new offices inWashington, DC, Houston and New York City, drew wide interest from the US aviation, business, and travel media, as well as the business community in each city, as Qatar Airways moved to strengthen and grow its presence in the American market.
Since launching its first US destination two years ago, Qatar Airways has experienced robust growth and expansion in the North American market, garnering recognition along the way for its superior Five Star in-flight and on-the-ground service.
“We are completely committed to growing our presence and raising the service bar, not only in the United States, but throughout our global network,” said Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker.
“This means continued investment in people and in infrastructure as we are seeing in our new offices across the US. The American travelling public is very demanding and very deserving and, rest assured, we deliver what we promise, being focused on delivering best levels of service.”
The New York City ceremony was attended by airline officials, aviation industry personnel and a host of local VIPs, including the internationally known business tycoon Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka Trump, together with Salem Al-Shafi, Charge D’Affaires of the Permanent Mission of the State of Qatar to the United Nations.
“I am delighted to be in New York today to officially inaugurate our newest office on Fifth Avenue, which is part of our continued commitment to our customers here in America,” said Al Baker.
Located on the 22nd floor of the famed Trump Tower at 725 Fifth Avenue, Al Baker added that the new office demonstrated Qatar Airways’ commitment to excellent customer service, making it easier for business and leisure travellers to book their flights across Qatar Airways’ global network, which spans 82 destinations.
“We made the decision to strategically locate our office in the heart of New York City to make it easily accessible for business and leisure passengers to make their travel arrangements,” he explained.
“Our offices are staffed by trained, dedicated and courteous professionals who are prepared to help with any travel request. Our on-the-ground customer service experience is as remarkable as our award-winning in-flight Five Star experience, which means excellence in all that we do with exceptional attention to detail.”
Qatar Airways’ foray into the United States began with its New York launch in June 2007. In October last year, Qatar Airways switched its one-stop, four-weekly flights from Newark to JFK International Airport and introduced its state-of-the-art Boeing 777 aircraft on the route to cater for increased passenger demand.
The March launch of its third US route to Houston was further evidence of Qatar Airways’ goal to identify US markets with business potential, as well as travel synergies in line with its international growth plans.
Moreover, the Doha – Houston route marked the start of a year of growth that will see Qatar Airways add six new destinations over the next few months, further expanding its global network and going against the current cost-cutting trend in the airline industry.
Al Baker said Qatar Airways had made a significant impact in the US market in the two short years it has been operating with a total capacity now of 21 flights a week. Qatar Airways operates daily flights from its three US hub cities non-stop to Doha with convenient onward connections to a diverse range of key business and leisure cities across the Middle East, Africa, South Asia and the Far East.
“While many of our industry peers are scaling back in every area of their operation, Qatar Airways is doing the exact opposite. We remain cost conscious, but in no way will we compromise on service and excellence that we have been focused on over the past 12 years since our launch. What is happening now in the world around us is a short-term situation,” added Al Baker.
“At Qatar Airways, we are not a short-term operator that makes radical changes to business practices because of market conditions. Qatar Airways is in it for the long term, continuing to grow with a realistic, aggressive expansion plan.
”We look forward to the next few months with further expansion that will see new aircraft joining the fleet at an average of one a month and new routes added to our growing network.”
With a growing fleet – more than 220 aircraft on order worth over US$40 billion – and a rapidly developing route network that will top 120 destinations in five years’ time, together with the construction of a brand new international airport in Doha, Al Baker stressed that Qatar Airways was operating in the Middle East as the only region in the world which had enjoyed double digit growth in recent months.
Six new routes will be launched over the next few months, including the Indian cities of Amritsar (October 11) and Goa (October 25); Melbourne (December 6) and Sydney (date to be confirmed) in Australia subject to government approval; and a further two, as yet, unannounced routes in Europe.
The addition of Amritsar and Goa will raise Qatar Airways’ capacity in India to 64 flights a week spread across 10 cities – Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Hyderabad, Trivandrum, Cochin and Kozikhode.
“Here, in New York and surrounding areas, there is a wealth of travellers to the Gulf and beyond, particularly to South Asia and with our flights across India, including Amritsar and Goa, we believe our services will appeal to the traveller looking to visit friends and family, as well as head on holiday there,” said Al Baker.
The New York JFK route is operated by a state-of-the-art Boeing 777-300 Extended Range aircraft, featuring 335 seats in a two-class configuration of 42 seats in Business and 293 in Economy.
With a 2–2–2 configuration in Business Class and each seat converting to 180-degree flat beds offering a generous pitch of 78 inches, together with individual TV screens measuring 15.4 inches, it is one of the most spacious premium cabins in the skies today.
The Economy Class cabin, in a 3–3–3 configuration, has a seat pitch of up to 34-inches and 10.6-inch TV screens, designed to offer optimum viewing. Both Business and Economy class cabins offer in-seat PC power supply and touch-screen in-flight entertainment (IFE). The aircraft features a revamped IFE system, Oryx Entertainment, offering each passenger more than 900 interactive audio and visual options, and individual control of their entertainment.
Qatar Airways’ Economy Class has been voted Best in the World in the annual Skytrax passenger survey, in which more than 16 million travellers were polled. Ranked Five Star for service and excellence by Skytrax, the independent aviation industry monitoring agency also voted Qatar Airways’ cabin crew Best in the Middle East for the seventh year running in 2009 and Best Airline in the Middle East for the fourth consecutive year. For more information, log onto www.qatarairways.com
Qatar Airways will operate a fleet of 110 aircraft by 2013 – almost double the existing size. Qatar Airways has ordered 80 Airbus A350s, 24 Airbus A320 Family of aircraft, 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, by which time the New Doha International Airport would have opened. For more information, visit www.ndiaproject.com
|The New York JFK – Doha flight schedules (all in local times) are:|
Depart John F Kennedy International Airport
Daily QR84 at 2235 hrs, arrive in Doha at 1910 hrs the following day
Depart Doha International Airport
Daily QR83 at 0820 hrs, arrive in New York JFK at 1500 hrs
Qatar Airways Corporate Communications
Tel: +974 4496956, Fax: +974 4620132