DOHA, Qatar – Qatar Airways announced today that it has been named the Official Airline of Orbis UK, a global blindness prevention charity, for a period of two years starting September 2015.
The announcement coincides with a fundraising drive organised at Hamad International Airport in celebration of World Sight Day, inaugurated by HRH Princess Sophie, the Countess of Wessex, who is a patron of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB).
Orbis is an international NGO that transforms lives by working to eliminate avoidable blindness and visual impairment. There are 285 million people in the world who are blind or visually impaired, yet a staggering 80 per cent of eye conditions can be prevented or cured.
The charity’s unique approach centres on training local eye-care teams on the latest sight-saving techniques. Every year, Orbis’ medical volunteers – some of the world’s leading eye care specialists – spend their free time teaching and training health workers around the world.
As the Official Airline of Orbis UK, Qatar Airways will be flying medical volunteers on duty to the airline’s destinations worldwide.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker said: “Qatar Airways believes that global aviation acts as a bridge between communities and people and we are delighted to be able to support causes that affect individuals across every continent. We are proud to offer our support to Orbis UK to help ensure that it can continue to make a significant difference in maintaining and restoring sight to even more people around the world.”
Flying to more than 150 destinations spread across six continents, Qatar Airways has the capability to reach many of the countries that Orbis UK volunteers want to reach.
Orbis Africa Chairman Mr. Robert Walters said: “We are delighted that Qatar Airways is supporting Orbis UK through becoming our official airline. This partnership continues our deep links with the aviation industry – since 1982 we have operated the world’s only Flying Eye Hospital, a unique ophthalmic training centre on board a fully adapted DC-10 aircraft.
“With the support of Qatar Airways, our volunteers are able to continue saving sight around the world, moving us closer towards achieving our vision of a world where no-one is needlessly blind.”
Notes to Editors:
About Qatar Airways:
Qatar Airways, the national carrier of the State of Qatar, is one of the fastest growing airlines operating one of the youngest fleets in the world. Now in its 18th year of operations, Qatar Airways has a modern fleet of 166 aircraft flying to 152 key business and leisure destinations across six continents. Qatar Airways won Airline of the Year, Best Business Class Airline Seat and Best Airline in the Middle East at the 2015 Skytrax Awards. This is the third time the airline won the accolade of Airline of the Year.
Qatar Airways is a member of the oneworld global alliance. The award-winning alliance was named the World’s Best Airline Alliance 2015 by Skytrax for the third year running. Qatar Airways was the first Gulf carrier to join global airline alliance, oneworld, enabling its passengers to benefit from more than 1,000 airports in more than 150 countries, with 14,250 daily departures.
Qatar Airways recently launched Oryx One, an enhanced interface for its inflight entertainment system, increasing the number of movies and TV shows on board from 950 to up to 2,000. Passengers flying on Qatar Airways flights served by its B787, A350, A380, A319 and select A330 aircraft can also stay in touch with their friends and family around the world by using the five-star airline’s on-board Wifi and GSM service.
Qatar Airways Cargo, the world’s fifth largest cargo carrier, serves more than 40 exclusive freighter destinations worldwide via its Doha hub and also delivers freight to more than 150 key business and leisure destinations globally on 166 aircraft. The Qatar Airways Cargo fleet now includes six Airbus 330, eight Boeing 777 freighters and one Boeing 747 freighter.
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