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Muscat, SULTANATE OF OMAN – Travellers to and from Oman are set to benefit from Qatar Airways’ latest expansion plans that will see a 30% increase in frequencies on this route from the end of the month. The airline is scheduled to begin operating 21 flights a week from the capital city of Muscat to Doha, up from the current 15 services.

The increase is part of Qatar Airways’ ongoing growth strategy, which has been ramped up for 2009 and includes six new route launches, including Melbourne and Sydney in Australia; Goa and Amritsar in India; and two further additions to its extensive European network. Frequency and capacity increases on selected routes are also scheduled.

Beginning March 29, the additional services from Muscat will provide increased connectivity for passengers flying to destinations on Qatar Airways’ expanding global route network, and greater convenience for travellers to Qatar and throughout the Gulf region.

At a press conference held in Muscat today, Qatar Airways Regional Manager Arabian Peninsula & Iran Ali Abdul Khaliq emphasised this latest boost was strong evidence of the continued growth in the Omani market.

“Qatar Airways is excited to be able to accommodate growing demand from the travelling public in Oman,” he said. “This has been coupled with the airline’s desire to provide dailyconnectivity to its international route network including all three gateway cities in the United States: New York, Washington, and from March 30, Houston.

“The frequency increase will not only provide greater convenience for travellers on Qatar Airways, but will also facilitate more tourist visits to Oman, and generate income for local businesses and contribute to the country’s economy,” said Abdul Khaliq.

He stressed Qatar Airways’ commitment to the Omani market and praised the authorities for allowing the airline to grow its operation in the Sultanate.

“Qatar Airways began operating twice daily flights from Muscat a little over two years ago. We have been very satisfied with the growth and this new commitment demonstrates our confidence in the market here,” he added.

Passengers from Muscat can expect excellent connections to a number of key cities on Qatar Airways’ network including all three destinations in the US: New York, Washington DC and Houston. Other key cities with improved connectivity from Muscat include London, Dar Es Salaam, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Manila, as well as several cities across India.

Following the introduction of the new Muscat schedule, Qatar Airways will commence operations to Houston, Texas – its first route launch of the year and third destination in the United States. The near 17-hour non-stop flight between Doha and Houston – beginning March 30 – will be operated with two brand new Boeing 777-200 Long Range aircraft which feature Qatar Airways’ new fully flat Business Class seats.

The airline has received three new Boeing 777 aircraft in the past six weeks and expects to receive an average of one new aircraft per month for the next two years. The Boeing 777 aircraft is expected to form the backbone of the Qatar Airways’ fleet well into the next decade.

In addition to the Muscat route expansion, Qatar Airways is stepping up capacity to seven other cities – Geneva, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Lagos, Mashad, Tunis and Algiers.

Highlights of 2009 Qatar Airways’ capacity increases:

Houston – new route launch DAILY from March 30

up from 4 to 5 flights a week from March 29
up from 5 to 7 flights a week (DAILY) from March 29
up from 11 to 14 flights a week (DOUBLE DAILY) from March 29
up from 15 to 21 flights a week from March 29
up from 3 to 5 flights a week from March 29
Kuala Lumpur
up from 7 to 10 flights a week from June 1
up from 4 to 6 flights a week from October 1
up from 4 to 5 flights a week from October 5

Qatar Airways will operate a fleet of 110 aircraft by 2013 – almost double the existing size. The airline 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 2012 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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