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Qatar Airways Spells Out Commitment To Indian Market

Bengaluru, INDIA – Qatar Airways today spelled out its continued commitment to India, helping strengthen commercial and economic ties thanks to the launch of its latest flights to the country – daily services to the southern Indian IT city of Bengaluru. (Bangalore)

Otherwise known as India’s Silicon Valley due to its huge infrastructure in information technology, Bengaluru has helped put the country on the global IT map, with large international corporations setting up operations in and around the city.

Since the launch in February of daily non-stop flights between the airline’s operational hub of Doha, capital of the State of Qatar, and Bengaluru, Qatar Airways reports the new service proving to be one of its most successful start-up routes.

Qatar Airways currently operates 74 flights a week spread across 11 Indian cities – in addition to Bengaluru, daily flights to Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai, Cochin, Trivandrum, Kozhikode, Ahmedabad and Goa, with four services-a-week to Amritsar.

Speaking at a press conference in Bengaluru today, Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said the newest addition to the airline's Indian network further strengthened its presence in one of the world’s most vibrant markets.

“I am delighted that Bengaluru has finally joined our international network. The route has performed exceptionally well and further demonstrates our commitment to give the travelling public greater choice,” he said.

“This new strategic air link fosters a stronger partnership between India and Qatar, and further provides excellent connectivity through our flights to rest of the world via Doha.

“India has grown rapidly into a dynamic market and we at Qatar Airways are extremely delighted to be part of the great success story of India Inc, working with the relevant authorities here to open up more air links to the world.”

Bilateral trade between India and Qatar stands at US$3.7 billion, according to figures for 2008 – a staggering increase from US$140 million in 2000. Trade focuses on oil and gas, food and agricultural products, health care and IT services.

Added Al Baker: "In the last six months alone, we have stepped up capacity to India from 56 to 74 flights-a-week thanks to the introduction of services to Bengaluru, Goa and Amritsar. This represents a remarkable 30% increase in frequency to and from India.

“Our Doha – Goa flights increased to daily only last week and we plan to step up capacity on the Amritsar route to daily within the next few months. And we will continue to explore new strategic opportunities to expand our presence to even more cities across this wonderful country.”

Home to India’s largest IT software industry, Bengaluru also has some of the country’s most affluent colleges and research institutions with numerous public sector companies across the aerospace, telecommunications and defence industries.

Bengaluru has been at the heart of India’s software industry for years, enabling it to capitalise on establishing commercial and social ties with cities around the world, including its US west coast IT centre counterpart, San Francisco.

Through code share flights operated by partner carrier United Airlines, Qatar Airways provides convenient connections to many cities across the US, including San Francisco.

And with excellent connections from Europe, Middle East, Africa and the United States, the new route is expected to be popular among expatriates returning to Bengaluru, as well as the international business community having strong commercial links with the city.

Flying from Bengaluru, passengers have a wide choice of destinations to travel to via Doha, including New York, Houston, Washington, London, Paris, Madrid, Stockholm, Johannesburg, Nairobi and Muscat.

Travelling to long-haul destinations such as New York and Washington, passengers can experience a raft of great facilities onboard the airline's flagship Boeing 777 aircraft, including seats that convert into fully flat horizontal beds in Business Class and extremely spacious Economy seats with a pitch of 34 inches.

All passengers travelling on Boeing 777s also have access to individual seat back touch screen TVs with up to 900 audio and video interactive entertainment options.

Connecting through Doha, Qatar Airways' First and Business Class passengers can experience the airline's exclusive Premium Terminal where they can unwind and relax and enjoy facilities such as spa treatments, fine dining, business centre and duty free shopping.

Bengaluru was the first of several route launches for 2010 during a year of aggressive expansion, which will see a further four destinations added to Qatar Airways’ global network from Doha, together with capacity increases across Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific.

Scheduled flights were launched to the Danish capital Copenhagen on March 30; the Turkish capital Ankara saw services begin on April 5; the Japanese capital Tokyo will be served from April 26; and flights to the Spanish Mediterranean port city of Barcelona start on June 7.

Qatar Airways completes its global jigsaw this summer by adding the South American continent to its burgeoning network with flights to the region's two largest cities.

Beginning June 24, daily services will operate to Sao Paulo in Brazil, continuing onto the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires.

Added Al Baker: “These are exciting times for Qatar Airways. With three new routes launched over the past few weeks, we look forward to further global expansion to some exciting destinations in the coming weeks and months."

Qatar Airways currently operates a modern fleet of 82 aircraft to 88 diverse business and leisure destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, South Asia and North America.

On the Doha – Bengaluru route, Qatar Airways operates an Airbus A320 in a two-class configuration of 12 seats in Business Class and 132 in Economy.

For more information on Bengaluru, visit www.qatarairways.com/bengaluru

The Doha – Bengaluru (Bangalore) daily flight schedules (all times local) are:

Depart Doha International Airport

QR226 at 2045 hrs, arrive Bengaluru at 0335 hrs next day

Depart Bengaluru International Airport

QR227 at 0435 hrs, arrive Doha at 0640 hrs

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. Qatar Airways’ Economy Class has been voted Best in the World in the annual Skytrax passenger survey, in which more than 16 million travelers were polled. For more information, log onto www.qatarairways.com

Qatar Airways will operate a fleet of 120 aircraft by 2013, by which time its global network will rise to 120 destinations. The airline 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 carrier has aircraft orders for more than 200 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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