Qatar Airways Participates Paris Air Show

Paris, 15 June 2009 - Award-winning Qatar Airways is once again participating at the high-profile Paris Air Show with a luxurious chalet at Le Bourget Airport in the French capital, starting tomorrow, June 15. Running until June 21, the world’s largest and oldest aerospace trade show expects to attract more than 500,000 visitors. The event is held every two years and is the most prestigious in the aviation industry calendar.

Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker will be leading a large delegation of airline officials from head office in Doha to the biennial show, now in its 48th year.

The carrier will showcase its fine hospitality with a two-tier chalet at Le Bourget and is among hundreds of exhibitors comprising aircraft, engine, military jet and helicopter manufacturers participating throughout the week.

Al Baker said he was delighted that Qatar Airways was once again taking part in the event, following the success of the airline’s participation at the show two years ago, where the carrier created a sensation in announcing a $US 16 billion order for 80 Airbus A350s and also increased its orders for the widebody Airbus A380s from two to five aircraft.

Qatar Airways committed for 20 Airbus A350-800s, 40 A350-900s and 20 A350-1000s, the latter being a stretched version of the new generation aircraft. Qatar Airways is the launch customer of the A350s. In addition, Qatar Airways confirmed a US$5.6 billion deal with Rolls Royce to power the twin-engined A350s.

At recent press conferences Al Baker has highlighted that despite the current global economic situation, key announcements were expected from the Five Star carrier at this year’s show.

Qatar Airways will hold two press conferences on consecutive days of the aerospace event with the first scheduled on the opening day.

“The Paris Air Show is regarded as one of the top aerospace industry events of the year and Qatar Airways is pleased to use this opportunity to demonstrate that Qatar Airways is on a steady and robust growth path. The current economic climate is challenging, but Qatar will set a positive tone on the world’s aviation industry,” he said confidently.

Just a few days before the start of the Paris Air Show, Qatar Airways announced the launch dates for two new upcoming destinations in India. The carrier will launch four-services-a-week to the northern city of Amritsar on October 11, and, from October 25 to the exotic holiday destination of Goa.

Over the next 10 months, apart from Amritsar and Goa, Qatar Airways will add four further routes to its burgeoning network – Sydney and Melbourne in Australia marking its first foray Down Under; and two further cities in Europe.

The expansion is part of the airline’s ongoing growth strategy – a long-term commitment to develop its route infrastructure as new aircraft join the fleet at an average delivery rate of one a month. Long-term, the airline has placed orders for more than 200 aircraft worth over US$40 billion.

Qatar Airways currently operates a young and modern fleet of 68 Boeing and Airbus aircraft to 82 cities worldwide, a figure set to rise sharply over the next few years. The airline’s fleet will increase to more than 110 planes by 2013 and destinations served are set to rise to over 120 in the next five years.

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