Qatar Airways is gearing up for its first route launch of 2006 with Hong Kong joining the airline’s growing network on March 26.
Daily scheduled flights will operate non-stop from Doha, capital of the State of Qatar, to Hong Kong - the airline’s third gateway in Greater China.
Qatar Airways already serves the Chinese capital Beijing and commercial centre of Shanghai with four flights a week to each city non-stop from Doha.
Hong Kong becomes Qatar Airways’ 12th Far East destination in a route network that already covers Osaka, Shanghai, Beijing, Seoul, Manila, Cebu, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Yangon and Jakarta.
The new Hong Kong service will be operated with the state-of-the-art Airbus A330 widebody aircraft, configured in two classes. Business Class features up to 24 seats reclining 160 degrees in a 2-2-2 configuration, while the Economy cabin has up to 259 seats.
Qatar Airways is celebrating its newest route launch by taking its award-winning services to a destination that has been designated by tourism authorities - 2006 Discover Hong Kong Year.
And the route is exceptionally important as it comes in a year when Qatar hosts the 15th Asian Games. Qatar Airways is the Official Airline of the Games, which take place over a two-week period in December.
To mark the launch, Qatar Airways Holidays - a division of Qatar Airways - is offering special introductory packages to Hong Kong with prices starting from QAR3,095 per person sharing a double room.
The price includes round-trip travel in Economy Class on Qatar Airways from Doha, three nights’ accommodation at the Hotel Metro Park, round-trip airport transfers, Hong Kong island city tour and free entry to Hong Kong Disneyland.
At the forefront of 2006 Discover Hong Kong Year are Hong Kong’s most ambitious and exciting new attractions to date. The recently-opened Hong Kong Disneyland on Lantau Island brings the Magic Kingdom to Hong Kong with an Asian twist.
Also on Lantau is the new 5.7km Ngong Ping 360 Skyrail cable car offering spectacular panoramic views during a 25-minute journey from Tung Chung to Ngong Ping, home of the popular Big Buddha. And Hong Kong’s Wetland Park is another attraction having opened a new state-of-the-art visitor centre.
With breathtaking views from the highly-popular Victoria Peak, Hong Kong also offers excellent shopping, dining and entertainment for visitors.
The flying experience on Qatar Airways’ A330-200 promises to be one to remember.
The aircraft features the airline’s award-winning Audio Video On Demand interactive entertainment system, allowing passengers in all classes to choose from more than 40 international movies, as well as short programmes to view on their individual TV screens.
Passengers can also listen to an extensive list of 250 CDs and 16 audio channels. In addition, there is a choice of 12 video games to play through the interactive TV screens.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said Hong Kong was one of the most exciting cities in the world offering visitors the opportunity to sample its unique heritage, festivals and tourist attractions.
‘In just under two weeks’ time, Qatar Airways will be adding the vibrant city of Hong Kong to our global network,’ he said.
‘Hong Kong is a key financial, business and leisure centre which is a must for any airline to serve - and Qatar Airways is no exception.”
‘We are extremely delighted to launch this exciting route in a year when Hong Kong is pushing the boat out to promote its new and diverse attractions.
‘Hong Kong is spending a lot of money and resource during 2006 and we are only too pleased to be able to launch our flights to this wonderful destination during Discover Hong Kong Year. Hong Kong fits nicely into our growth strategy to serve key capital and secondary cities around the world.’
Added Al Baker: ‘Hong Kong has a fantastic tourist product and some of the world’s best conference and convention facilities. By working closely with our partners in Hong Kong, Qatar Airways promises to make this route one of the most successful in recent years.’
More than 23 million people visited Hong Kong during 2005. The Middle East is one of the key markets for inbound tourism to Hong Kong, with visitor figures from the region rising more than 7 per cent in January alone.