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Qatar Airways Statement On Newswire Misquote

Doha, QATAR – Qatar Airways advises that a news wire story issued yesterday by a news agency (Reuters) contained a misleading quote by the airline’s Executive Vice President Commercial Operations Mr Ali Al Rais. The quote implied that Qatar Airways was experiencing difficulty financing its aircraft.

The incorrect quote was identified by Qatar Airways, and the news agency subsequently removed the quote in updated versions of the article.

During a press briefing in Dubai yesterday attended by international media, Mr Al Rais took the opportunity to emphasise that the airline has solid financial backing and it maintains a strong commitment towards growth over the coming years, including current orders for more than 200 aircraft worth over US$40 billion.

Al Rais said that Qatar Airways enjoyed the full and firm commitment of its airline banking partners who are well known in the international financial markets. The airline’s expansion strategy will see brand new aircraft being added to the fleet at an average rate of one a month over the next few years.

The ambitious growth strategy of Qatar Airways is fully backed by all its shareholders including the Qatari government. The airline recently inked two deals worth US$500 million for the financing of three Boeing 777 aircraft in a move that clearly demonstrates the finance community’s firm support and commitment towards one of the world’s fastest growing airlines.

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 2012. 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 was named as having the ‘World’s Leading Business Class’ by the World Travel Awards in December 2008 and 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’ first route launch of 2009 will be to Houston – its third US gateway city – on March 30. The daily non-stop service will operate using a brand new Boeing 777-200LR aircraft and make the Doha – Houston route one of the longest in the world with a flight time of almost 17 hours. Qatar Airways today operates a young and modern fleet of 65 Boeing and Airbus aircraft serving 83 cities across Europe, Middle East, Africa, South Asia, Far East and North America.

Qatar Airways Corporate Communications
Tel: +974 4496956, Fax: +974 4620132
E-mail: qrmedia@qatarairways.com.qa

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