Qatar Flies Double Daily

Introduces new Boeing 777ER to Manila starting March 29

March 19, 2009

Doha - National carrier Qatar Airways upgrades its service to Manila earlier than expected as it start to fly its new Boeing 777-300ER to Manila on a double daily service starting March 29 amidst wordwide recession on air travel.

“Qatar Airways’ robust expansion is continuing undeterred by the current economic climate,” said Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker, addressing a packed press conference on the opening day of ITB Berlin.

The Philippines remained the only Asia Pacific country that registered positive growth in 2008 despite a 24% slump in aviation travel in the region based on IATA figures.

Qatar Airways is the second airline to announced earlier than planned operations to Manila. Earlier, Afriqiyah Airways of Libya was the first airline to announced 2 months earlier flight than what was originally scheduled citing tremendous backlog of OFW traffic to the middle east. But Qatar Airways will be the first airline to expand in Asia Pacific this year amidst slump in the aviation industry and the first airline to expand its operation out of Manila. Dubai based Emirates Airlines and Abu Dhabi airline, Ethihad, of the UAE is also expected to announce double daily service within this year.

The airline is gradually stepping up capacity from March 29 to eight cities – Geneva, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Lagos, Muscat, Mashad (Iran), Tunis and Algiers. The frequency increases will see the Philippines capital of Manila being served with two daily flights, up from the current 11 services a week; Nigeria’s commercial capital of Lagos going from five services a week to daily; and capacity to the Omani capital of Muscat rising from 15 to 21 flights a week, said Al Baker.

The triple seven ER plane has a seating capacity of 335, with 42 in business and 293 in economy class. The aircraft is the 10th triple seven plane which is scheduled for delivery on the last week of March from Boeing factory in Seattle.

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