Qatar Airways’ Regional Manager for the Arabian Peninsula, Iran and the CIS Mr Ali Al Rais headed the official Qatar Airways delegation that travelled to Kochi in Kerala.
The inaugural Kochi flight was met in Kochi by Indian Government officials, State Government representatives, and the Indian media.
“This is an exciting event for Qatar Airways as we seek to increasingly introduce our premium standards of airline customer service to India,” said Chief Executive Officer, Mr Akbar Al-Baker.
“India and the large Indian expatriate community in the Gulf region can only benefit from Qatar Airways’ new service to Kochi.
“They can now travel with an airline that can offer them high standards of customer service, new aircraft with the latest inflight entertainment and amenities, and convenient connections from Doha to/from Europe, the Middle East and the Gulf.
“Our flights to Kochi will also increase the access that foreign tourists have to the natural beauty of Kerala.
“We have already established busy tourism routes from Europe to Kathmandu, Colombo and the Maldives. Qatar Airways expects that we will be able to place Kochi on the European tourist map.”
Kochi becomes Qatar Airways’ 39th destination and its fourth Indian destination.
Qatar Airways now flies to India 19 times a week, with flights to Mumbai, Hyderabad, Trivandrum and now Kochi.
“All these flights — including the flights to Kochi — have all been planned with convenient connections at Doha from the rest of the Gulf,” explained Al-Baker.
“We will fly three times a week to Kochi using A300-600 and A320-200 aircraft.
“The flights to Kochi will leave in the early morning from Doha on Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays.
“Qatar Airways will continue to add new destinations to its route network so that we can offer our customers a greater choice of destinations.”
By the end of this year Qatar Airways plans to fly to 50 destinations across Europe, the Middle East, the Indian sub-continent, North Africa and the Far East.
Qatar Airways is also expanding its fleet of Airbus aircraft. It recently took delivery of its third A330-200, and will take delivery of its fourth A330 next month.
Qatar Airways also announced last week in Germany that it will take delivery of a long-range corporate luxury jet, the first long-range ACJ319 aircraft to be used by an airline. Qatar Airways is also a launch customer for the ‘super jumbo’ A380 aircraft which will be delivered in 2007.
The airline presently has a fleet of 21 Airbus aircraft, which will grow to 28 by the end of this year.
Qatar Airways was launched in 1994 and then relaunched as a premium quality airline under the leadership of Mr Al-Baker in 1997.
Qatar Airways also includes a number of subsidiary companies including Qatar Duty Free, Qatar Aviation Services, Qatar Aircraft Catering Company, Qatar Airways Holidays and the Qatar Distribution Company.
Thursday, March 6- 2003 @ 13:32 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.