Qatar Airways, the national airline of the State of
Qatar, is one of the aviation industry's success stories.
The award-winning Five Star-ranked airline is one
of the fastest growing carriers in the world with unprecedented
expansion averaging 40% year on year that industry peers can only
admire with envy.
Since its relaunch in 1997, Qatar Airways has
achieved staggering growth in fleet and passenger numbers.
From only four aircraft in 1997, the airline grew
to a fleet size of 28 aircraft by the end of 2003 and 40 by Summer
Under the leadership of Chief Executive Officer
Akbar Al Baker who was appointed CEO in 1997, Qatar Airways has
matured into a leading force in regional and global aviation, earning
many admirers around the world for its excellent standards of service.
Qatar Airways operates a modern fleet of 40
all-Airbus aircraft averaging under three years old and is the
European aircraft manufacturer's biggest Middle East customer with
five different types of aircraft in its fleet - the A330 being the
backbone of its long-range operations.
From its hub in Doha, capital of Qatar, the airline
has developed a global network of destinations, covering Europe, the
Middle East, Africa, Indian subcontinent and Far East. Qatar Airways
operates to 66 destinations worldwide with Nairobi and Berlin due to
join the global network this winter. By the end of 2006, Qatar
Airways' global map will stretch to 80 destinations.
The airline's commitment to offering quality and
high levels of service from a dedicated workforce earned it a string
of accolades during 2004 and 2005.
Skytrax, the independent aviation quality
monitoring agency, awarded Qatar Airways a Five Star ranking -
Skytrax's highest accolade for airline service - joining an elite club
of only three other carriers in the world to have earned such
Qatar Airways' cabin crew was recognised as the
best in the Middle East for the third year running in 2005 and fifth
best in the world following an annual survey of more than 12 million
passengers comprising 93 different nationalities. Skytrax also placed
Qatar Airways in the world's top 10 for inflight entertainment, a huge
achievement for a young and vibrant airline.
The airline was the first Middle East carrier to
introduce First Class seats that convert into 180-degree fully flat
beds and Business Class seats-cum-lie flat beds. It also has one of
the most advanced inflight entertainment systems in the sky - Audio
Video On Demand (AVOD) on its A330 long-haul fleet where passengers in
First, Business and Economy Class can play, forward, rewind and stop
programmes at a time of their choice, giving them more control of
their personal entertainment.
Further expansion is on the horizon as Qatar
Airways' fleet will almost triple in size to 110 aircraft by 2015.
Qatar Airways announced plans at the Paris Air Show in June to acquire
up to 80 aircraft, comprising 60 of the new generation A350s and 20
Boeing 777s worth a total US$15.2 billion.
The airline is one of the launch customers of the
twin-deck 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.
Qatar Airways plans to initially operate the A380
on its flagship European route between Doha and London Heathrow
followed by other prime, high-density routes.
The New Doha International Airport is scheduled to
open in 2009 at a cost of US $2.5bn in the first phase and will
initially be capable of handling 12 million passengers a year.
Once fully developed in 2015 at a cost of US
$5.5bn, the airport is expected to handle up to 50 million passengers
a year. One of the project's key features is that 60% of the site will
be built on reclaimed land from the Arabian Gulf.
Qatar Airways will manage the new airport, designed
to help shape Doha as a key regional and global aviation hub.
The new airport will be an architectural wonder
with 80 gates once fully completed. The state-of-the-art passenger
terminal will have a wavy roof structure accessed through a roadway
network that passes through a man-made lagoon to complement the
natural bay and water setting.
There will also be a 1,900 square metre airport
mosque with minaret in a garden plaza located on the south side of the
airport's main passenger terminal.
The Emiri complex will be an architectural marvel,
with the exterior shape of the pavilion representing sail boats which
complement the water setting of the airport. The building is layered
to provide a striking effect and will light up the night sky. The
complex will also include a pavilion, ceremonial podium, apron,
private roadways and parking, surrounded by lush landscaping.
The airport complex will comprise a 75-metre high
control tower located between the parallel runways, multi-storey
office building, parking and access roads. Triangular in shape with
one angle cut by a crescent shape all along its height, the structure
will be topped by a glazed cabin.
Qatar Airways has a history of being innovative and
is rapidly becoming a leading player in the aviation industry - both
regionally and globally.