London, UNITED KINGDOM – Qatar Airways once again supported the UK-based Foreign Press Association’s prestigious annual awards function in which the airline sponsored the main award of the night – Journalist of the Year.
The lavish gathering of leading UK and international journalists took place at the Sheraton Park Lane Hotel in central London in the presence of chief guests, Their Royal Highnesses Prince and Princess of Asturias.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker hosted select media during the night, which attracted more than 400 guests, including Ambassadors, politicians and business leaders to celebrate excellence in television, print, radio and web-based journalism.
The event, in its 10th anniversary year, was compered by British television and radio personality Sandi Toksvig.
Journalists in 11 categories were honoured at the awards function, where Prince of Asturias, His Royal Highness Prince Felipe – Heir to the Spanish throne – spoke about the long-standing warmth and relationship between Britain and Spain.
The prince of Asturias is a champion of forging greater understanding between different cultures and spends a lot of time, in particular, promoting the Spanish language and culture overseas. He has a Foundation which promotes science, culture and the humanities. His wife, Princess Letizia is a former award-winning TV journalist.
Al Baker presented the main award – Journalist of the Year – to Martin Hickman, of leading British newspaper The Independent, for his environment story on the hidden cost of consumer demand for palm oil in everyday high street shopping and its devastating impact on the jungles of south-east Asia, native people and contribution to greenhouse gases.
Al Baker also presented Martin Hickman with a pair of round-trip Business Class tickets between the UK and Melbourne to celebrate the launch of the airline’s new route to Australia, starting on December 6.
Qatar Airways 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.
Foreign Press Association
Founded in 1888, the FPA is one of the oldest press associations led by a committee of professional journalists. The London-based association holds regular briefings with politicians, the business community and international organisations. The association is made up of over 1,000 members from more than 70 countries worldwide.
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
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
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