Qatar Airways doubles Beirut flights
Qatar Airways - national flag carrier of - has added seven additional weekly flights between Doha and Beirut.
The airline now offers two daily flight options between the Qatari capital and the Lebanese capital.
“These services have convenient timings offering quick connections to other destinations in the Gulf, the Indian Subcontinent and the Far East,” said Mohamed Saleh Fakhri, Qatar Airways commercial general manager.
Qatar Airways regional manager Levant, Hilal Al Mohannadi, said: “The additional daily flight QR 428 takes off from Doha International Airport at 9pm arriving Beirut at 12.05 am, while flight QR 429 takes off from Beirut at 9am arriving at Doha at 11.50 am.
Qatar Airways is the only Middle East airline providing passengers with seats that can convert into a full bed with sidebars on its Airbus A330 First Class.
Each seat has a video facility offering the latest in entertainment, as well as phone and fax services, he said.
• Qatar Airways will soon be able to operate 14 services a week to London Heathrow and Gatwick following the modification of the existing bilateral agreement between Qatar and Britain.
The modified agreement was concluded at the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in Doha, Gulf Times reported. The existing agreement was signed in 1972.
Qatar Airways would also be able to operate seven cargo flights to Britain under the new agreement.
CAA chairman and managing director Abdul Aziz Al Noaimi said the modification was needed in view of the recent developments in Qatar’s civil aviation, especially the development of Qatar Airways as the state’s sole national carrier.
Al Noaimi revealed that the Qatari side had pressed for 21 weekly flights to Britain in view of the heavy demand for seats in the Doha-London sector, especially from the business community and tourists.
However, agreement was reached only on 14 passenger flights and seven cargo flights.
The issue of providing fifth freedom traffic rights to both Qatar Airways and British Airways was also discussed, he said. But a decision could not be taken as the British side sought more time to examine this.
A meeting to discuss the fifth freedom traffic rights would be held before the year-end, Al Noaimi said in the newspaper report.
• Qatar Airways recently signed a financing mandate with Credit Lyonnais. The mandate is for the long term financing of two Airbus A320 aircraft to be delivered in March and October 2004.
It is the first transaction for Credit Lyonnais with Qatar Airways; DekaBank, Kreditanstalt fr Wiederaufbau and Standard Chartered Bank are joining Crédit Lyonnais as Export Credit Agency (ECA) and Commercial Lenders.
The financing will be structured as a finance lease, with the European Export Credit Agencies supporting 85 per cent of the loan and the balance of 15 per cent being a commercial loan.
Qatar Airways is among the world’s fastest growing airlines, serving 41 destinations throughout Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. The A320 will be deployed in a two-class layout on Qatar Airways’ regional scheduled services within the Gulf, to the Middle East and to southwest Asia.