Qatar Airways flexes muscle at FITUR

Qatar Airways participated in FITUR 2007, the first big tourism event of the year, which took place in Madrid from 31 January to 4 February 2007. For the third year running, the award-winning airline was in the Spanish capital for one of the biggest tourism fairs in the world and the most important exhibition for Latin America.

The annual event attracts the crème de la crème of the international travel industry, from airlines, hotels, car rental companies and tourist boards to travel agents, tour operators and media from around the Iberian peninsula and rest of the world.

The five-day international show provided Qatar Airways with the opportunity to showcase its award-winning Five Star hospitality to visitors and fellow exhibitors. The Airline exhibited a 52sqm stand, reflecting the theme of the New Doha International Airport due to open in 2009.The ceiling of the exhibition stand had a dramatic wavy structure, mirroring the design of the new airport that takes it inspiration from the sea. It is being built on reclaimed land from the Arabian Gulf.

Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said:

“Being the first and only Gulf carrier flying to Spain, Qatar Airways made its presence at FITUR. The highly interesting platform was ideal to promote our growing airline in Spain, especially in this year of Qatar Airways’ massive expansion, which will offer further attractive routes such as Bali, Ho Chi Minh City and Chennai to the Spanish traveller.”

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The Airline’s four flights a week from Madrid to Doha offer convenient connections to many exciting destinations around the world. Since its launch in December 2005 the Madrid route has proved to be highly successful, with frequency increased from three to four flights a week at the end of 2006. For this summer season, Qatar Airways plans to upgrade the route with an A330-200, which will enhance the product offering and comfort levels of the passengers travelling with the airline.

With a fleet of 52 all-Airbus aircraft, Qatar Airways operates to more than 70 destinations worldwide from its operational hub of Doha, capital of the State of Qatar. Now, in its 10th anniversary year, Qatar Airways will add exciting new destinations to its growing network, together with more flights on existing routes to give passengers more choice. Brand new Airbus and Boeing aircraft will join the fleet with deliveries of the first of Qatar Airways’ Boeing 777s taking place from November 2007.

With a growing international network, more travellers will have an opportunity to use Qatar Airways’ brand new Premium Terminal at Doha International Airport, exclusively for departing and transiting First and Business Class passengers.

The Premium Terminal features facilities such as a spa, jacuzzi, duty free, business centre and fine dining restaurants. Built in just nine months, the terminal is the world’s first commercial passenger building dedicated to First and Business Class passengers.

Qatar Airways is one of only four airlines in the world with a Five Star ranking for service and excellence awarded by Skytrax, the independent aviation industry monitoring agency. Skytrax also named Qatar Airways’ cabin crew as Best in the Middle East for the fourth year running in 2006 and second best worldwide following a survey of more than 12 million passengers worldwide.

The airline’s fleet will more than double in size over the next 10 years to 110 aircraft. Qatar Airways plans to acquire 60 Airbus A350s and 22 Boeing 777s, with deliveries of the latter beginning in November 2007.

The airline is a launch customer of the twin-deck Airbus A380 ‘super jumbos’ with four aircraft on order and scheduled for delivery from 2009 to coincide with the opening of the New Doha International Airport. For more information, visit www.ndiaproject.com

For the financial year that ended in March 2006, Qatar Airways carried more than 6.3 million passengers worldwide. For the 2006/2007 financial period ending in March 2007, the airline is set to carry more than 8 million passengers.
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