Qatar Airways yesterday celebrated another milestone in its remarkable short history announcing its fleet size has grown to 80 aircraft – double the size of five years ago.
The airline has inducted its 15th Boeing 777 into the fleet and maintains a delivery schedule of more than one new aircraft a month, retaining its status as one of the world’s fastest growing airlines.
The newest Boeing 777-300 Extended Range aircraft will serve long haul routes from the airline’s operational hub of Doha, capital of the State of Qatar. The aircraft is part of a larger order for more than 220 different aircraft worth over $40 billion placed in recent years.
With the fleet set to grow to 120 aircraft by 2013 and current global network of 86 destinations also expected to rise to 120 by 2013, Qatar Airways is continuing its expansion strategy with vigour.
“Yet again, Qatar Airways is demonstrating its continued commitment to growth, a strategy set in 1997 when the airline was launched under the auspices of The Emir, His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani ,“ said Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker.
Addressing media in Hyderabad during India Aviation 2010, the country’s second International Exhibition and Conference on Civil Aviation, Al Baker said Qatar Airways was forging ahead with expansion at an unprecedented rate.
He was speaking as Qatar Airways debuted at this year’s Air Show with a dedicated chalet showcasing its award-winning Five Star hospitality and displaying two aircraft – a Boeing 777-200 Long Range version and a Bombardier Challenger 300, which is part of the airline’s new corporate jet subsidiary, Qatar Executive.
“Just five years ago, Qatar Airways operated 40 aircraft. Today our fleet has doubled in size to 80 aircraft. As our fleet increases, we are able to raise capacity on existing services and introduce new routes which is continuing as planned despite the industry facing challenges amid the current global economic climate,” said Al Baker.
The Bombardier Challenger 300 aircraft in Hyderabad is one of three corporate ejts in the airline’s subsidiary “Qatar Executive”, launched six months ago to srve the Middle East’s expanding corporate business travel market. With eight reclinable leather seats in a luxurious configuration, the Challanger 300 features premium fittings and has a range of up to 2,800 nautical miles-enough to fly as far as South East Asia and Europe non-stop from Doha.
Last week, Qatar Airways embarked on its aggressive 2010 expansion programme with the launch of daily non-stop flights between Doha and Bengaluru (Bangalore), the State capital of Karnataka. It was the first of several planned new route launches this year.
Beginning March 30, scheduled flights are set to be introduced to the Danish capital of Copenhagen; April 5 sees the Turkish capital Ankara coming on line; April 26 is the launch date of daily flights to the Japanese capital, Tokyo; June 7 sees Barcelona added to the network.
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