Doha, QATAR – In celebration of the launch of its new Houston route, Qatar Airways hosted a glamorous gala dinner in its hub Doha on Sunday night, giving a grand introduction to the enticing leisure and business destination, which is the airline’s first foray into America’s southern states.
Attended by Qatar’s social and business elite, dignitaries and local VIPs, the glittering Houston-themed event was a tribute to the new link between the global energy centres of Texas and the Gulf States. Qatar Airways launches daily non-stop flights between Doha and Houston on March 30th – the airline’s third US route.
With true Qatar Airways flare, guests were treated to a sumptuous menu of US-themed fine dining cuisine, whilst enjoying a dynamic performance from UAE-based jazz band Salha, which wowed the crowd with a dazzling set of jazz numbers.
The event was hosted by Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker, who extended a warm welcome to guests and shared his thoughts on the newest route being launched by the Five Star airline.
“With a flying time of under 17 hours, this will be the longest flight in Qatar Airways’ route network and one of the longest non-stop services in the world,” he said.
“Linking the energy capitals of the Middle East and North America, Qatar Airways will bridge the two key cities of Doha and Houston,” he said.
The US Ambassador to Qatar Joseph LeBaron thanked the national carrier of the State of Qatar for its vital role in achieving closer ties of the two countries in a well-received speech which impressed the audience when he delivered it not only in English but in Arabic as well.
He highlighted: “The launch of Qatar Airways flights from Doha to Houston is proof that the relationship between our two countries is, quite literally, taking off.”
LeBaron expanded on this statement by describing the strong economic ties between the two countries – including two-way trade has increased by more than 340 percent since 2003.
He continued: “But the relationship between Qatar and the United States goes well beyond trade and investment. Tourists, business travellers, and students are coming and going every day in ever greater numbers. This builds partnerships. This builds friendships. This builds prosperity.”
Qatar is home to the world’s 3rd largest gas reserves and is the world’s leading exporter of liquefied natural gas. With its abundant oil and gas reserves and status as one of the fastest growing economies in the world the new service will be of utmost importance to further boost the State of Qatar as well as the airline.
Houston has the largest natural oil resources in the US and is home to more than 5,000 energy-related companies.
Al Baker went on to stress that the new Boeing 777-200 Long Range aircraft flying between Doha and Houston promised to be an experience of a lifetime with unrivalled levels of space and comfort, including lie flat beds in business class and interactive inflight entertainment system for all passengers with more than 700 audio and video options.
The evening culminated with a grand finale raffle draw, which awarded delighted guests three fantastic prizes. Mr Adel Fathy won two Business Class tickets to Houston; Mr. Pierre Sironval claimed two Business Class tickets to Washington DC; and Mr Bertrand Deyzac scooped two Business Cass tickets to New York.
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 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
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