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Qatar Airways Hosts 2009 Commercial Conference

Doha, QATAR – Management from across Qatar Airways’ global network joined Doha-based colleagues for their annual commercial conference in the Qatari capital.

More than 200 delegates from across North America, Europe, Africa, Middle East, Asia and Australia, gathered for the two-day event, held at the Four Seasons Hotel.

Themed Commercial Excellence in a Changing World, the conference touched on all areas of the company’s day-to-day operation to discuss current business trends and future outlook.

The annual conference gave senior management from across Qatar Airways’ global operations an opportunity to network, share ideas and discuss business practices.

Guest of honour, Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker delivered the conference opening address and also presented key awards to staff of best-performing countries in the airline’s network.

Against the background of the current economic climate, the conference was seen as appropriate timing, but Al Baker stressed that the company looked forward to continued robust growth.

Speaking during the opening day address, he said: “This conference is a perfect opportunity for colleagues from around the world to get together and discuss business processes, business practices and business strategies.”

“The challenges now and ahead present a great opportunity for us all to press ahead with more creative ways to remain competitive and increase our share of the market.

“Our growth remains unstinted. The fleet is growing, our route network is growing and passenger figures are rising. Qatar Airways is operating in the only region in the world which has enjoyed double digit growth in recent months.

“We are in the enviable position where we don’t rely on any single market, simply because of our central geographical location. While many of our industry peers are scaling back in every area of our operation, Qatar Airways is doing the exact opposite.”

Added Al Baker: “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.

“What is happening now in the world around us is a short-term situation. What our industry peers are doing is reacting quickly to economic conditions that are either in, or out of, their control.

“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.

“We continue to strive for excellence in all that we do. Fleet growth and route growth will continue with vigour. With over 220 aircraft on order, a greater number of destinations being added to our network and billions of dollars being invested in the current and new airport.”

Qatar Airways currently operates a young and modern fleet of 68 Boeing and Airbus aircraft to 82 cities worldwide, a figure set to rise sharply over the next few years. The airline’s fleet will increase to more than 110 planes by 2013 and destinations served are set to rise to over 120 in the next five years.

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

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

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