Qatar Airways celebrated the launch of its new daily Doha—Washington DC flights with a gala dinner last night attracting the political and social elite from the US capital. The Mandarin Oriental Washington DC was the venue for the night’s entertainment featuring star billing, Bond, a quartet of young classical musicians known for their non-conformist style of performances.
Host for the evening, Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker welcomed guests promising they would have a night to remember—and they were not disappointed. He thanked the US authorities for making the airline’s newest route a huge success, just weeks after the carrier launched flights from Doha to New York (Newark)—its first move into the US market.
Guests at the gala dinner included former Secretary of Defense William Cohen, former US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton and Richard L. Armitage, the former US Deputy Secretary of the State, the second-in command at the State Department.
They were kept entertained by a fantastic visual symphony presentation featuring imagery of Qatar Airways, its Five Star service and the airline’s array of worldwide destinations.
Bond—four young female musicians from Britain and Australia—combined pop with classical music to round off the night’s entertainment.
The appearance of Steve Bridges, whose uncanny impersonation of the former US president Bill Clinton made the evening a night to remember.
Master of ceremonies for the event was the Emmy-award winning reporter Meryl Comer. She introduced the stellar line-up for the evening, including CNN International TV presenter and host of “CNN Business Traveller” Richard Quest. He spoke of Qatar Airways as the rising star in the aviation industry and welcomed CEO Akbar Al Baker, who spoke of his pride in bringing Qatar Airways and its award-winning Five Star service to both Washington DC and New York.
Al Baker described the moment Qatar Airways flew into Dulles International Airport from Doha on Thursday night to be saluted by the dramatic water arch from airport fire fighters that traditionally greet inaugural arrivals.
“I am delighted that we have made our mark in the USA with two route launches within weeks of each other—New York and now Washington DC. Our twin city launch marks the first step of the airline’s expansion into the US market,” he said.
“Tonight we are celebrating our inaugural services to Washington with this wonderful gala dinner which I promise will keep Washingtonians talking for a long time. Washington, thank you for welcoming us with open arms and we look forward to welcoming you on our flights and enjoy our award-winning Five Star hospitality.
” Qatar Airways plans to grow its international network further by exploring other route opportunities in the world’s largest aviation market.”
Qatar Airways is the only Middle East carrier flying non-stop daily to Washington Dulles International Airport, offering passengers from across the Gulf countries and feeder markets in the Indian subcontinent with excellent onward connections across the USA.
Al Baker added that Qatar Airways’ proposed code share partnership with United Airlines would give the traveling public greater choice with more destinations to fly to across the United States.
The award-winning airline, currently in its 10th year of operations, now serves 78 destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Indian subcontinent, Far East and America with a modern fleet of 58 all-Airbus aircraft