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PressRelease_28Oct09

Qatar Airways Leads Debate At Doha Aviation Summit

Qatar Airways Leads Debate At Doha Aviation Summit

<p>Doha, QATAR &ndash; Qatar Airways&rsquo; success story became the focus for the Doha Aviation Summit as international aviation executives and officials convened in Doha to discuss regional and global challenges facing the industry during a three-day conference.</p>
<p>Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker participated in a panel discussion with Gulf Air CEO Samer Majali; Munich International Airport President and CEO Dr. Michael Kerkloh; and TAV Airports President and CEO Dr. Sani Sener. Topics during the discussion ranged from climate change and the current economic conditions to fuel price fluctuations.&nbsp;</p>

<p>Al Baker highlighted the need for the global aviation industry to push for standardised systems that would allow airlines to develop greater operational efficiencies and also drive down their carbon footprints. He also explained that the State of Qatar&rsquo;s growing economic might have allowed a platform for local businesses to prosper and that this development had worked hand in hand with Qatar Airways&rsquo; continued growth.</p>

<p>&ldquo;The airline has both flourished from, and helped to, facilitate the growth of the State of Qatar, a world leader in the export of natural gas and is continuing to grow at double digit pace, just like Qatar Airways,&rdquo; said Al Baker.</p>

<p>He added that Qatar Airways had so far escaped the economic downturn unscathed.</p>

<p>&ldquo;Qatar Airways is committed to growing. We have a proven long-term business model,&rdquo; he said.</p>
<p>&ldquo;We have made astute business decisions, such as having a clever fuel hedging policy, which served us well when oil prices were US$150 per barrel midway through last year, and we are investing in the future as demonstrated by our outstanding aircraft orders.</p>

<p>The summit, held at W Hotel &amp; Residences Doha, was officially opened by Abdul Aziz Al Noaimi Chairman of Qatar&rsquo;s Civil Aviation Authority. In his opening address, Al Noaimi gave a brief overview of the growth of Qatar Airways, and spoke about the US$14 billion New Doha International Airport project, which was on course to open in 2011.&nbsp;</p>

<p>A highlight of the summit was the <b>Leaders in Aviation Awards 2009</b>, held on the evening of the first day. Qatar Airways won the <i>Green Initiative of the Year</i> award for &ldquo;demonstrating a strong commitment to reducing CO2 emissions and a responsible attitude towards climate change.&rdquo;</p>

<p>Earlier this month, Qatar Airways completed the first-ever commercial passenger flight powered by Gas-To-Liquids (GTL) fuel during a regular scheduled service from London Gatwick to Doha International Airport.</p>

<p>&ldquo;Qatar Airways continues to be an industry innovator in the research and development of alternative fuels. The airline wants to be known as the greenest in the world, and we have invested heavily in new aircraft and new technology to reduce our carbon footprint as much as possible for the benefit of our passengers and the community as a whole.</p>
<p>&ldquo;The award is welcome encouragement for Qatar Airways to continue its work in driving positive change in the aviation industry and protecting the environment and the planet for future generations,&rdquo; added Al Baker.</p>

<p>Qatar Airways is an elected member of the International Air Transport Association&rsquo;s Environment Committee (ENCOM), one of IATA&rsquo;s six groups focusing on different industry-related issues.</p>

<p>Qatar Airways&rsquo; engagement in ENCOM follows a recent initiative from the airline, in conjunction with IATA, to develop a global carbon offset trading scheme where passengers opt to pay extra for tickets to help fund various global environmental projects. The IATA system is currently being implemented and will be available to passengers in the near future.</p>

<p>The airline&rsquo;s expansion continues in 2009 with the launch of its fourth destination of the year to Melbourne, Australia, on December 6. Initially a three-day-a-week service, Melbourne operations will quickly move to daily on January 1, following the addition of a second brand new Boeing 777-200 Long Range aircraft with 42 Business Class seats and 217 Economy Class seats. Flights to Australia&rsquo;s largest city Sydney are also scheduled to begin in 2010.</p>

<p>Qatar Airways&rsquo; 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&rsquo; 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 <a href="http://www.qatarairways.com/">www.qatarairways.com</a></p>
<p>Qatar Airways will operate a fleet of 110 aircraft by 2013 &ndash; 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 &lsquo;super jumbos&rsquo; 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 <a href="http://www.ndiaproject.com/" target="_blank">www.ndiaproject.com</a></p>

<p><em>Qatar Airways Corporate Communications<br /> </em>Tel: +974 4496956, Fax: +974 4620132<br /> E-mail: <a href="mailto:qrmedia@qatarairways.com.qa">qrmedia@qatarairways.com.qa</a></p>

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