Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker again chose World Travel Market to unveil his detailed plans for the next year. Speaking yesterday at WTM”s Excel exhibition centre, Al Baker confirmed new destinations Lagos (Nigeria), Dar Es Salaam (Tanzania), Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), Bali (with the airline already serving Indonesia”s capital Jakarta), Newark New York plus two undisclosed East European capitals.
He said 2007 would be a milestone year for the Doha-based carrier. ”Back in 1994, Qatar Airways launched operations with just a small number of regional routes with a handful of aircraft,” he said.
”The airline was re-launched in 1997 and, almost 10 years on, Qatar Airways now flies an international network covering 70 destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, the Indian subcontinent and Far East.
”Our fleet has grown sharply to 51 aircraft and we have simply gone from strength to strength carrying more than 6m passengers a year, representing annual growth averaging 35%. We are well on target to more than double our fleet size to 110 aircraft by 2015.”
Al Baker also revealed that Qatar Airways” brand new Premium Terminal ” the world”s only stand-alone terminal dedicated to first and business class passengers ” is set to open at Doha International Airport by the end of the month.
The terminal building will be ready in time for the 15th Asian Games taking place in Doha between December 1-15. Qatar Airways is the event”s Official Airline, which promises to be the biggest ever in the games” history.
Image: Qatar Airways chief executive officer Akbar Al Baker is pictured centre addressing a press conference at World Travel Market in London. With him are general manager commercial Peter Spencer (left) and regional manager Europe, Siva Ramachandran