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Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Addresses the International Aviation Summit in New Delhi, India

H.E. Mr. Al Baker speaks at CEO Plenary Session: ‘Can India be a global aviation leader?’

Address highlights Qatar Airways’ growing relationship with India, India’s role in becoming a global aviation leader and approaches for the sustainable growth of Indian aviation


DOHA, Qatar – Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, addressed key leaders in the aviation industry including government officials, airline CEOs, aviation industrialists and senior dignitaries among others, as part of the International Aviation Summit, a two-day event taking place in New Delhi, India.  

H.E. Mr. Al Baker spoke at a panel discussion titled, ‘Can India be a global aviation leader?’ alongside India’s Minister for Commerce and Industry and Civil Aviation, the Honorable Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, as well as the CEOs of KLM, Kenya Airways, Spicejet and Jet Airways. The panel discussed the aviation operating environment in India and the opportunities that exist for the market to become the third largest globally by 2025.

The International Aviation Summit in Delhi, India was organised by the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) in collaboration with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to discuss the importance of the Indian aviation market, and what it will take for the aviation sector to expand in India while maximising the economic and social benefits of the potential growth.

H.E. Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “I am honoured to have been given the opportunity to share my views on the future of the Indian aviation market at the International Aviation Summit in New Delhi. The State of Qatar and India share a substantive and strong relationship that has evolved over the years, making India an important market for Qatar Airways. This is reflected by the 102 weekly flights we provide to 13 destinations across India.

“India is on track to become the third largest global aviation market by 2025 and we are determined to further grow our presence in the Indian market by offering passengers the award-winning quality of service that they deserve. We recently launched our unique Qsuite Business Class product on the Mumbai and Bengaluru routes, to provide passengers with the best experience in the skies.”

In April 2018, India’s domestic aviation market celebrated its 44th straight month of double-digit growth, and expects to celebrate the 50-month achievement of double digit growth by October 2018. Consequently, the International Aviation Summit focused on key issues that India needs to address in the future, such as airport infrastructure, capacity constraints in Mumbai and taxes to name a few, in order to sustain its linear growth.

In June 2018, H.E. Mr. Al Baker commenced his duties as the Chairman of the Board of Governors (BoG) of prestigious global aviation industry body, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), for a one-year term. H.E. Mr. Al Baker is the 77th chair of the IATA BoG.

Qatar Airways currently operates 102 weekly flights between Doha and 13 destinations in India, including Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Goa, Hyderabad, Kochi, Kolkata, Kozhikode, Mumbai, Nagpur and Thiruvananthapuram.

Qatar Airways introduced its revolutionary Qsuite Business Class services on the Mumbai and Bengaluru routes in July 2018, both of which are being served by a Boeing B777 aircraft. The Qsuite features the industry’s first-ever double-bed in business class. Sliding panels allow passengers in adjoining seats to transform their space into private cabins so business colleagues, families and friends can work, socialise and dine together during the flight. These revolutionary features led Qatar Airways to win the ‘Best Business Class Seat’ and ‘World's Best Business Class’ awards at the 2018 Skytrax World Airline Awards.

Qsuite is currently available on select Qatar Airways’ Boeing 777-300ER, Airbus A350-900 and A350-1000 aircraft. The launch of Qsuite to Mumbai and Bengaluru follows the introduction of the product to various destinations around the globe, including London, Paris, New York, Chicago, Houston, Shanghai and Canberra.

In February 2018, the award-winning airline introduced its state-of-the-art aircraft, the Airbus A350-900 on its Delhi route. Qatar Airways was the global launch customer for this aircraft type, which features a two-class configuration of 283 seats in total, offering 36 in Business Class and 247 in Economy Class.

The airline’s Cargo division, Qatar Airways Cargo, currently operates a total of 27 weekly freighters to the Republic of India. The top three cargo destinations in India are Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai, with five weekly frequencies to each.

Qatar Airways currently operates a modern fleet of more than 200 aircraft via its home and hub, Hamad International Airport (HIA), to more than 150 destinations worldwide. Earlier this year, Qatar Airways revealed a host of forthcoming global destinations in line with its expedited expansion plans, including Tallinn, Estonia; Valletta, Malta; Langkawi, Malaysia and Da Nang, Vietnam.

Notes to Editors:

About Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways, the national carrier of the State of Qatar, is celebrating more than 20 years of Going Places Together with travellers across its more than 150 business and leisure destinations. The world’s fastest-growing airline will add a number of exciting new destinations to its growing network in 2018, including Tallinn, Estonia; Valletta, Malta and many more, flying passengers on board its modern fleet of more than 200 aircraft. 

A multiple award-winning airline, Qatar Airways was named ‘World’s Best Business Class’ by the 2018 World Airline Awards, managed by international air transport rating organisation Skytrax. It was also named ‘Best Business Class Seat,’ ‘Best Airline in the Middle East,’ and ‘World’s Best First Class Airline Lounge.’

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.

Oryx One, Qatar Airways’ in-flight entertainment system offers passengers up to 4,000 entertainment options from the latest blockbuster movies, TV box sets, music, games and much more. Passengers flying on Qatar Airways flights served by its B787, A350, A380, A319 and select A320 and A330 aircraft can also stay in touch with their friends and family around the world by using the award-winning airline’s on-board Wi-Fi and GSM service.

Qatar Airways proudly supports a range of exciting international and local initiatives dedicated to enriching the global community that it serves. Qatar Airways, the official FIFA partner, is the official sponsor of many top-level sporting events, including the FIFA 2018 and 2022 World Cups, reflecting the values of sports as a means of bringing people together, something at the core of the airline’s own brand message - Going Places Together.

Qatar Airways Cargo, the world’s third largest international cargo carrier, serves more than 60 freighter destinations worldwide via its world-class Doha hub and also delivers freight to more than 150 key business and leisure destinations globally with more than 200 aircraft. The Qatar Airways Cargo fleet includes eight Airbus A330 freighters, 13 Boeing 777 freighters and two Boeing 747-8 freighters.


For further information, please contact:

Qatar Airways Group, Corporate Communications Department

Tel: +974 4022 2200

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