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Qatar Airways Wraps Up Successful Indian Roadshow Promoting New Houston Route Launch

Mumbai, INDIA – Qatar Airways has wrapped up a highly successful India-wide roadshow promoting its new daily flights to Houston due to launch tomorrow (March 30).

The week-long press conferences, attended by over 250 media, kicked off in Kochi in the southern Indian state of Kerala and moved onto Chennai, Hyderabad and the capital Delhi, before winding its way to the country’s financial centre of Mumbai.

The new Houston services will offer Qatar Airways’ passengers from across India one of the quickest and most convenient journeys to America’s energy centre and beyond. Bridging Doha and Houston with direct flights, Qatar Airways will open up the first air corridor between the world’s energy capitals.

Qatar Airways currently operates 58 flights a week from nine cities in India with early morning departures to Doha and convenient onward daily connections to Houston, as well as the airline’s two other highly popular US gateway cities of New York and Washington.

The airline’s Indian network, comprising daily services from Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Ahmedabad, Kochi, Thiruvananthapuram, Hyderabad and Kozhikode, together with twice-weekly services from Nagpur, is one of the most comprehensive of any international carrier serving the country.

At just under 17 hours flying time, the new daily non-stop services between the airline’s Doha hub and Houston will be Qatar Airways’ longest route and one of the longest non-stop flights in the world operating with brand new state-of-the-art Boeing 777-200 Long Range aircraft.

Addressing media at five packed press conferences across India, Qatar Airways Regional Manager India, Naveen Chawla said: “Qatar Airways’ India operations are among the most successful in our international network, having virtually doubled capacity between India and Qatar over the past four years.

“We are renowned for offering our customers the highest standards of service and are delighted to be able to bridge India and Houston with our new connecting service via Doha beginning March 30.”

In doing so, we are able to offer the travelling public with unrivalled levels of space and comfort, giving us an edge over our competitors in the Middle East and worldwide.

“Houston and neighbouring cities have more than 250,000 people of Indian origin living and working in a variety of industries, including medicine, engineering, law and business. The Indian community will now have much improved air access between India and southern USA with the launch of the new flights,” explained Chawla.

Qatar Airways will deploy its brand new Boeing 777-200 Long Range aircraft on the Doha – Houston route with a seating capacity of 217 in Economy Class and 42 in Business, the latter offering 180-degree fully flat beds.

During the recent ITB Berlin, the world’s largest travel and tourism show held in Germany, Qatar Airways Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker said the Houston service was the carrier’s first route launch of 2009, in a year which will see further aggressive global expansion despite the current economic climate.

Apart from Sydney, Melbourne, Goa and Amritsar, Al Baker said Qatar Airways will also ramp up its European presence with two new routes over the next nine months as part of its committed ongoing growth strategy.

Qatar Airways currently operates a modern fleet of 68 Airbus and Boeing aircraft to 83 key business and leisure destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, South Asia, Far East and North America.

Houston And The Indian Connection

There is more economic activity between India and Houston than any other American city since the Indo-US relationship developed, opening up new horizons for both countries.

The Greater Houston Partnership, an initiative to build regional prosperity in the Houston area, reported trade between India and Houston had risen by 288 per cent from $500 million to $1.9 billion between 2001 and 2007.

The Indian expatriate community contributes significantly to the American economy in various sectors, including information technology, education, medical research, engineering, commerce, business and the legal profession. Hard-working and pioneering, the Indian community has gained much from working in the ‘land of opportunity’, setting the highest possible standards for themselves and their peers.

Home to the world’s largest medical facilities – Texas Medical Centre – Houston is America’s 4th most populated city. Headquarters for 18 Fortune 500 companies are located in Houston and there are over 5,200 energy-related businesses based in the biggest city in southern USA.

Qatar Airways is one of only six carriers 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 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, the year the New Doha International Airport is scheduled to open. For more information, visit www.ndiaproject.com

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.

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

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