London, UNITED KINGDOM — Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, joined Her Majesty The Queen, and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, at the official opening of the new Terminal 2: The Queen’s Building at London’s Heathrow Airport – nearly 60 years after the original Terminal 2 opened.
Mr. Al Baker, who sits as a non-Executive Director on the board of Heathrow Airport Limited, was present with other airline CEOs and executives at the historic official opening. The Queen inaugurated London Airport’s first passenger terminal, the Central Terminal Area, in December 1955 but has now renamed Terminal 2 as the Queen’s Terminal.
The former Terminal 2 was built to handle an annual 1.2 million passengers at its peak; the new building has been built to handle 20 million. It has 24 departure gates, 24 fully-serviced aircraft stands and cost £2.5billion to create.
The first carriers to use the terminal are United Airlines, ANA, Air Canada and Air China. They will be followed by another 22 airlines including Singapore Airlines, Lufthansa, Virgin Atlantic Little Red and Aer Lingus by October this year. When fully occupied, Terminal 2 will have 332 flights per day to 54 destinations around the world.
Mr. Al Baker, CEO of Qatar Airways, commented: “It is exciting to see the further expansion of Heathrow with this state-of-the-art terminal opened by Her Majesty The Queen and I am delighted that so many airlines and passengers will benefit from the airport’s increased efficiency. Qatar Airways regards Heathrow as one of its most important hubs as London remains such a key gateway to Europe and beyond.”
John Holland-Kaye, Heathrow Development Director and Chief Executive Designate said: “Terminal 2 is the culmination of an £11billion investment programme that has transformed Heathrow for passengers. Opening a new terminal is one of the most complex challenges that any airport can undertake. Our real measure of success is whether Terminal 2 comes to be rated by passengers as one of the world’s best airport terminals for years to come.”
Qatar Airways, which uses London Heathrow’s Terminal 4, has increased its presence in the UK market markedly in recent weeks, with the launch of its first all-business class service, flying daily between Doha and London Heathrow, as well as the inaugural Doha to Edinburgh service utilizing a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, one of the world’s newest aircraft. Edinburgh is the third UK destination for Qatar Airways, after London and Manchester.
Qatar Airways operates six daily flights between Doha and London Heathrow; 10 flights per week between Doha and Manchester and five flights per week between Doha and Edinburgh.
Qatar Airways has seen rapid growth in just 17 years of operations, currently flying a modern fleet of 134 aircraft to 143 key business and leisure destinations across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and the Americas.
Over the next few months, the network will grow further with Haneda, Japan (June 18, 2014) and Dallas/Fort Worth, USA (July 1, 2014).
Notes to Editors:
Qatar Airways is the national carrier of the State of Qatar. Currently undergoing rapid expansion, Qatar Airways is one of the fastest growing airlines operating one of the youngest fleets in the world. Now in its 17th year of operations, Qatar Airways has a modern fleet of 134 aircraft flying to 143 key business and leisure destinations across six continents.
On October 30, 2013, Qatar Airways joined the oneworld Alliance, becoming the first Gulf carrier to join a global airline alliance, enabling its customers to benefit from almost 1,000 airports in more than 150 countries, with 14,250 daily departures.
Award-winning carrier Qatar Airways was presented with three honours at the annual Skytrax 2013 World Airline Awards held during the Paris Air Show at Le Bourget, France, last June. The airline was awarded World’s Best Business Class, World’s Best Business Class Lounge and, for the second consecutive year, Best Airline Staff Service in the Middle East.
During the 2013 Dubai Air Show the airline placed orders for more than 60 new aircraft – a mixture of Boeing 777X and Airbus A330 Freighters. In total the airline has 300 aircraft on order worth more than US $50 billion. The airline will move into its new hub and home, Hamad International Airport, in 2014. For more information, visit our homepage www.qatarairways.com or our sites on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, and YouTube.
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