Nairobi, Madrid, Berlin, as well as Hong Kong are new routes the CEO from Qatar Airways is promoting at this year’s World Travel Mart in London and comes after a bevy of awards for the Middle East carrier. “Last night we were honoured with three awards,” says CEO of Qatar Airways, Akbar Al-Baker. “And only this morning I picked up the World Travel Global Award.”
“These wonderful awards are due to our dedicated staff worldwide and wonderful hospitality. We have made huge strides in a highly competitive aviation world.”
Qatar Airways, Gulf Air and Etihad all featured prominently at this year’s World Travel Mart at London’s Excel centre. Qatar Airways choose to focus on new routes, in-flight service and Doha’s airport facilities.
“Many of us have not had a good experience at our airport in Doha due to our expansion that is why we are now building a new airport,” explained Al Baker. “(That is why) we are first opening a new dedicated terminal to business and first class.”
Qatar sees the new terminal taking 15 percent of the airport’s traffic away from the main thoroughfare alleviating congestion at the carrier’s main hub. A completely new airport will open in the capital in 2009.
“Many airlines loose focus with growth but we have focused on our high class service,” explains Al Baker. “We are growing at 40 percent a year.”
The CEO also commented on the launch of its new route to Hong Kong, which starts at the beginning of Summer 2006, saying that Qatar Airways is putting a lot of emphasis on Asia destinations. Already the airline flies to 12 cities, including Osaka, Shanghai, Beijing, Seoul, Manila, Cebu, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur , Bangkok, Yangon and Jakarta.
In the next four weeks Qatar Airways will also be flying to Nairobi five ties a week, Madrid three times a week and Berlin four times a week.
When pushed as to what global alliance Qatar Airways might join in the future, the CEO said: “we still have some time to decide which airline alliance we will join - we are a young airline, we have a good relationship with Star Alliance and SkyTeam and we have good links with Lufthansa.”
Another focus for Qatar Airways is the boosting of air traffic that starts and ends in Qatar. Al Baker said tat this will increase as the Middle East state develops as a centre for the Hyrdocarbon industries, medical tourism, as well as education, and sports events. He also highlighted that many hotels were being built in the Middle East state.
“Qatar’s population will double in the years ahead,” added Al Baker.
VIDEO TRAVEL NEWS: Qatar Airways gives press conference at the opening of World Travel Mart in London on the latest developments for the Middle East airline as it looks to launch a number of new services.
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