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Posted On: 25 February 2009 08:58 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:09 pm

Qatar Airways pays tribute to Gaza victims

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Qatar Airways has named its second new Boeing 777-200 Long Range aircraft “Gaza” to pay tribute and honour the civilian victims in the recent conflict in Palestine. Qatar Airways’ Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker made the announcement shortly after the plane touched down at the Doha International Airport at 3.40pm yesterday, followed by its delivery from Seattle, Washington. “I know many of us have been deeply touched by the civilian deaths in the recent bombing of Gaza. Qatar Airways wants to recognise those innocent people and in particular the large numbers of children who were killed in the bomb attacks. The naming of our latest aircraft “Gaza” is a symbolic gesture to commemorate and honour these victims,” Al Baker said at a ceremony held to welcome the aircraft. “Qatar Airways customarily names each of its aircraft after place names within the State of Qatar. But we have made an exception in this case. The name of ‘Gaza’ will fly around the world on Qatar Airways and spread a message of peace and humanity,” he added. Early this month, Qatar Airways offered its support to the One Million Candles Campaign, an initiative launched by UK-based Arab woman Manal Timraz in response to the death of several civilians, including 15 of her family members, in a single bomb attack on the Gaza Strip. Twelve of those who died were children. “The announcement by Qatar Airways means a lot for me and my people in Gaza. The fact that an aircraft bears the name of ‘Gaza’ will fly around the world and spread the message of peace across the world is something amazing and a re-birth for my beloved country,” Timraz told The Peninsula immediately after Al Baker made the announcement. The aircraft — Qatar Airways’ seventh Boeing 777 — was earlier given its full certification and clearance to leave Boeing’s delivery Flight Centre in Seattle, for the 15-hour journey to its new home in Doha. It flew exactly 14 hours and 20 minutes non-stop before touching down at the Doha International Airport. The flight was manned by four pilots and the cabin crew. The latest delivery takes Qatar Airways’ fleet size to 67 aircraft and keeps the airline well on course of its remarkable expansion with an average of one new plane joining the bourgeoning fleet every month over the next few years.