Qatar Airways said it would receive 13 new Airbus aircraft this year to expand its operations to 12 more cities.
“We are going to take the delivery of the aircraft this year and (are) requesting Airbus to expedite the delivery of other aircraft so that we can keep the momentum of our growth,” Qatar Airways chief executive officer Akbar Al Baker said.
The new deliveries are part of a 34-aircraft order, worth $5.1 billion, which the Qatari national carrier placed with Airbus at the Paris Air Show in July 2003.
Qatar Airways now has a 24-plane all-Airbus fleet which it plans to boost to 56 by 2008.
Planes on order include 10 A330-200 and seven A330-300. The airline also has an option for three A330-200, four A330-300, two A380-800 and eight A340-600 aircraft.
The flag carrier is owned by the state’s government, members of the ruling family and Qatar Insurance Company.
Baker said Qatar Airways planned to add 12 more destinations to extend its operations to 60 cities by the year-end, compared with 48 at present.
“In June, we will begin flights to Luxor in Egypt and to Istanbul in Turkey. The following month, in July, we will begin a new service to Zurich in Switzerland. In November we will begin flights to Kabul in Afghanistan,” he said.
Baker said the carrier was one of the fastest growing airlines in the world.
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