CEO of Qatar Airways Akbar Al Baker, spoke in Dubai at the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) earlier this week of plans to expand with 200 new aircraft on order totalling more than $US30 billion.
Al Baker said, “Our long range Boeing 777s will open up tremendous new opportunities for us from the end of 2008 with the aircraft capable of flying to all corners of the globe non-stop and provide our customers with a unique flying experience and ultimate levels of comfort.”
Within the 200 aircrafts ordered there are 80 new-generation A350 Airbus’, five twin deck A380s, 60 Boeing 787 Dreamliners and 30 Boeing 777s. This will add to the 62 aircrafts Qatar Airways already owns.
“Our vision at Qatar Airways is simple – to invest in, and maintain, a growing fleet of young and modern aircraft flying to key business and leisure destinations worldwide,” he said.
This ambitious growth stems from the Qatar’s recent economic boom due to large infrastructure development projects.
In Doha, a new international airport is in construction with plans to open in 2010. Qatar Airways international network will then launch new destinations between Doha and Kozhikode and Guangzhou.
Al Baker said that the airport was slowing taking shape with runways and terminal infrastructure well under way. The airport has an estimated capacity of 50 million passengers when in final development in 2015.
The network already serves to China cities Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and the continents of Europe, Middle East, Africa, Indian Subcontinent, Far East and North America.
Starting November 2008, the Qatar Airways Doha-Houston route will be travelled by the first Long Range Boeing 777-200 for a total of 17 hours.