Qatar Airways has taken delivery of four new aircraft this month, wrapping up an eventful 2009 for the Doha_based airline.
Just as it has announcedÂ the launch of itsÂ new service to Doha with four weekly frequencies, Qatar Airways will increase the number of connections to the Middle East, Asia and Australia.
With the largest delivery schedule in a single month for Qatar Airways, the two Boeing 777_200 Long Range aircraft and two Airbus A320s take the airlineâ€™s rapidly_growing fleet size up to 76 aircraft.
Qatar Airways currently has outstanding orders for more than 220 aircraft worth over US$40 billion. With a planned delivery schedule of more than one new aircraft a month over the next few years, the new aircraft deliveries will replace older aircraft and boost the fleet to maintain a young and modern portfolio of planes.
The latest arrivals round up a busy year for Qatar Airways, which saw the airline take delivery of a total of 11 new aircraft; launch four new routes â€“ Houston, Melbourne and two Indian destinations of Amritsar and Goa; order 24 Airbus A320 family of aircraft; and set up a new corporate jet subsidiary, Qatar Executive.
One of the two newly_delivered Boeing 777_200LRs will be used to step up frequency on the recently_launched non_stop Doha â€“ Melbourne route from the current three_flights_a_week to daily beginning January 1.
The other Boeing 777_200LR has been deployed on flights to the Far East. Qatar Airways now operates 13 Boeing 777s â€“ eight of the 300_Extended Range and five 200_Long Range versions.
The newly_inducted A320s feature 12 seats in Business Class and 132 in Economy. They are the first deliveries of the airlineâ€™s 24 Airbus A320 family of aircraft ordered at the Paris Air Show in June. The remaining 22 narrow body aircraft, which includes 18 Airbus A320s and four A321s, are due to be delivered over a two_year period ending in December 2012.
Featuring state_of_the_art technology with individual seat back TV screens, every passenger will be able to experience personal audio and video on demand entertainment options on Qatar Airwaysâ€™ new fleet of narrow_body aircraft for the first time.
The new single_aisle A320s, operating on selected routes in the Middle East, Europe and South Asia, feature a wide choice of movies, TV programmes in different languages, as well as up to 500 international CD albums. The TopSeries system, which also includes interactive games, has been developed and installed by French company, Thales.
With the announcement of service between Copenhagen and Doha, the route will be one of the new destinations of its steadily growing route network. Barcelona will be the other new destination. Both destinations will be opened when the summer timetable takes effect in late March 2010.
â€œThe new service to Doha strengthens Copenhagen Airportâ€™s position as one of the key traffic hubs in northern Europe. In addition, Scandinavian travellers will have better access to Qatar Airwaysâ€™ growing route network and thus new options for travelling to a number of Asian and Australian destinations,â€ said Carsten NÃ¸rland, VP Sales, Copenhagen Airports.
The four weekly flights to Copenhagen will strongly expand Qatar Airwaysâ€™ presence in the Scandinavian market. Over the past two years, the airline has operated a service between Stockholm and Doha. Qatar Airways is currently the only five_star Middle East airline operating to and from the region.
â€œThe addition of these destinations to our route network shows our commitment to strengthening our position on the European market and offers our prize_winning services to new customers as well as more destinations and additional options to our existing customers,â€ said Akbar Al Baker, CEO of Qatar Airways.