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All Eyes On Qatar Airways At Dubai Air Show 2009

Dubai Air Show, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Qatar Airways is making its largest ever presence at the Dubai Air Show – the Middle East’s premier aerospace event – taking place at Airport Expo in Dubai this week.

A brand new Boeing 777-200 Long Range aircraft flown in from the manufacturer’s base in Seattle, is on static display during the five-day event, which kicked off yesterday.

Also on show is a Bombardier Challenger 605 aircraft, one of three corporate jets belonging to Qatar Airways’ recently set-up subsidiary, Qatar Executive.

Together with a dedicated two-tier chalet and exhibition stand, this year’s event marks a significant presence for Qatar Airways – its largest ever in the show’s history.

Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker is attending the event, which once again propels the award-winning airline into the international spotlight, showcasing its Five Star hospitality to visitors from around the world.

The Five Star-ranked carrier currently operates a modern fleet of 72 aircraft to 84 diverse business and leisure cities across the Middle East, Europe, Africa, South Asia, Far East and North America from its hub in Doha, capital of the State of Qatar.

One of the fastest growing airlines in the world which only launched operations in 1997, Qatar Airways currently has outstanding orders for more than 220 aircraft worth over US$40 billion.

“The Dubai Air Show is regarded as one of the world’s leading aerospace industry events of the year and Qatar Airways is using this opportunity to demonstrate that the airline is committed to continued growth, while at the same time showcasing two of its newest aircraft and world renowned hospitality,” said Al Baker.

“Over the next few years, Qatar Airways will be receiving on average over one aircraft per month, which shows our confidence in the aviation industry against the economic situation that has been making headlines around the world.

“We are positive about the future of the industry and setting a positive signal for the world’s aviation industry.”

Qatar Airways’ third Boeing 777-200LR – and 11th Boeing 777 overall – will be deployed on the Doha – Melbourne route non-stop from December 6, marking the airline’s entry into the Australian market for the first time. The service will launch with three-flights-a-week, rising to daily from January 1 following the addition of a second Boeing 777-200LR aircraft dedicated to the route.

The Boeing 777-200LR is the longest range passenger aircraft in the world, capable of connecting any two major cities non-stop.

The Boeing 777 fleet features one of the most spacious passenger configurations in the air today, with a 2–2–2 layout in Business Class offering a 78-inch seat pitch, with each seat converting into fully flat horizontal beds.

The Long Range version of the aircraft features 42 seats in Business Class and 217 in Economy. Regardless of class of travel, every passenger has a personal seat-back interactive entertainment system offering a choice of more than 900 audio and video options.

At the Dubai Air Show two years ago, Qatar Airways  announced confirmed orders for 27 Boeing 777 aircraft, with a further five on option, together with orders for 30 firm and 30 option for the Boeing 787 Dreamliners.

In June this year at the Paris Air Show, Qatar Airways announced the setting up of a corporate jet subsidiary, Qatar Executive, with three aircraft now in the fleet – all Bombardiers.

Qatar Executive currently operates two Bombardier Challenger 605s, as well as a Bombardier Challenger 300, capable of flying non-stop up to 4,000 nautical miles serving destinations throughout Europe, Africa and Asia from the carrier’s Doha hub.

Statistics from the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) show that the corporate market in the Middle East has grown at an average of 13 per cent a year since 2000. Nine years ago, there were 200 corporate jets based in the Middle East, more than doubling in size to 450 in 2008 with estimates of further growth over the next few years.

According to CAPA, the corporate jet market in the Middle East is estimated to be worth between US$500 million and US$700 million a year.

Added Al Baker: “With forecast figures showing strong growth in the corporate jet market, we believe it is a clear opportunity to capitalise on this trend, hence the creation of our new business unit, Qatar Executive in the summer.”

Record visitor numbers of around 50,000 are expected during the week at the Dubai Air Show with the largest number of exhibitors of around 950, including approximately 200 companies new to the market.

Qatar Airways, the only Middle East airline ranked Five Star by leading industry monitor Skytrax, is not only wooing visitors with two of its state-of-the-art aircraft on static display, but also using the Dubai Air Show to showcase its superior inflight products.    

At the exhibition stand, visitors have a chance to try out the airline’s fully flat Business Class seats, currently deployed across Qatar Airways’ Boeing 777 fleet. Apart from soon flying to Melbourne, the Boeing 777s serve three US destinations – New York, Washington and Houston – together with selected points in Asia and the Middle East.

The airline’s fleet will increase to more than 120 aircraft by 2013 and destinations served are set to rise to over 120 in the next five years.

Following the launch of services to Melbourne, Qatar Airways plans flights to Australia’s largest city of Sydney in 2010, with a further two yet-to-be-announced European points due to be added over the next few months.

Qatar Airways was voted Best Business Airline of the Year at the World Travel Awards in November 2009. Its Economy Class was named Best in the World at 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

For further information on Qatar Executive, visit www.qatarexec.com.qa

Qatar Airways will operate a fleet of 120 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 has aircraft orders for more than 220 jets worth over US$40 billion and 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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