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Qatar Airways Connects Bahrain and Houston Route With New One-Stop Flights

Manama, KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN – Qatar Airways today announced details of its new one-stop flights linking Bahrain with Houston – the award-winning airline’s third US destination being launched on March 30.

The carrier’s daily morning flight QR151 departing Bahrain at 0520 hrs will arrive in Doha at 0610 hrs to connect onto Qatar Airways’ new mid-morning long-haul service to Houston in the States of Texas.

Qatar Airways launches daily non-stop flights between Doha and Houston on March 30, using Boeing 777-200 Long Range aircraft featuring 259 seats of unrivalled levels of space and comfort, including fully flat beds in Business Class.

The route will offer passengers with convenient connections to and from Bahrain. Qatar Airways currently operates five Boeing 777-300 Extended Range aircraft, but takes delivery of its first Boeing 777-200 Long Range version next month for use on Houston and other ultra long-haul routes.

Addressing media in Bahrain today on the latest leg of Qatar Airways’ GCC-wide Houston promotional roadshow, Executive Vice-President Commercial Ali Al Rais briefed journalists on the Doha-based airline’s first new route of 2009.

A gala dinner for dignitaries, including guests from consulates, corporates, travel trade and the media takes place in Bahrain this evening.

“The launch of our latest US route is highly anticipated as Qatar Airways will bridge the world’s energy capitals of Doha and Houston with this daily flight using our new long-haul flagship aircraft, the Boeing 777,” said Al Rais, speaking at the Ritz-Carlton Bahrain.

“Houston is a very strategic route for Qatar Airways, as it opens up increased bilateral business opportunities for the energy sectors across the Middle East and the oil-producing southern states of America. Houston will also be an excellent gateway to the oil-producing countries of neighbouring Mexico and Latin America.”

He added: “Bahrain’s rich financial and energy base gives Qatar Airways further reason to launch the route and establish this key international air corridor. Bahrain was one of the first states in the Gulf to discover oil back in 1940 which, together with other petroleum-related products, now account for over 60 per cent of the country’s export receipts.

“Furthermore, there exist very close ties between the Arab business community and energy companies in the Gulf with those in and around the Houston area. More than 65,000 currently live in and around Houston.”

The Houston service will complement Qatar Airways’ popular existing US routes to New York and Washington DC, launched in mid-2007. The airline currently offers daily non-stop flights between Doha and both New York’s JFK International Airport and Washington Dulles.

The airline will fly daily to Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport offering flexibility and convenience to business and leisure travellers flying to Houston and beyond. At almost 17 hours flying time, the Doha – Houston route will be one of the longest non-stop flights in the world.

Qatar Airways’ Boeing 777 will be configured in a two-class configuration of 42 seats in Business Class. Passengers will be able to enjoy comfortable and spacious seats offering a pitch of up to 78 inches with each seat converting into 180-degree fully flat beds. With a 2–2–2 seating configuration, Business Class passengers are assured of either a window or aisle seat and plenty of space.

In Economy Class, seat space is above the industry average with a pitch of up to 34 inches offering significant leg room. The 217 seats in a 3–3–3 configuration are the most spacious of any airline flying to Houston.

Qatar Airways is renowned for its internationally-acclaimed Five Star service, superior cuisine and on-board entertainment options, additionally earning the credit of being the first Middle East carrier to provide fully flat beds in business class to Houston.

Regardless of class of travel, all passengers can enjoy the next generation interactive inflight entertainment onboard with a choice of more than 700 audio and video on demand options. From music, documentaries, movies, sport, comedy, children’s programmes and interactive games, passengers are rest assured of a great choice of entertainment.

Qatar Airways was recently recognised as the world’s Leading Business Class airline at the World Travel Awards, adding to its burgeoning award-winning cabinet.

With a modern fleet of 65 Airbus and Boeing aircraft, Qatar Airways flies to 83 key business and leisure cities across Europe, Middle East, Africa, South Asia, Far East and North America.

QatarAirways operates 49 flights between Bahrain and Doha each week

Bahrain  – Houston schedules, effective March 30

Depart Bahrain            QR151 at 0520 hrs, arrive Doha at 0610 hrs                        
Depart Doha                QR077 at 0940 hrs, arrive Houston at 1800 hrs
Depart Houston           QR078 at 2030 hrs, arrive Doha at 1940 hrs the following day
Depart Doha                QR156 at 2100 hrs, arrive Bahrain at 2145 hrs

Qatar Airways has created a dedicated microsite www.qatarairways.com/houston at which visitors can easily navigate through a wealth of information on Houston and the Gulf region with details of the new route, a video guide about the onboard experience, as well as a comprehensive directory of useful links and resources. The site complements a newly-launched TV, print, radio and online campaign promoting the route.

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 2008, 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

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

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