Qatar Air to open seven new routes
QATAR Airways has announced plans to open seven new routes, including its first to the US with daily scheduled flights.
The airline states that routes to Lagos in Nigeria and Dar Es Salaam in Tazmania will open during January, while flights between Doha and New York are set to take off in summer next year.
The company's first American route will utilise the same state of the art Airbus A340-600 aircraft that are used on the run between Doha and London Heathrow.
Akbar Al Baker, chief executive officer of Qatar Airways, said: "Our fleet, our destinations and our global network have grown with unprecedented proportions, which is simply the envy of our peers in the aviation industry."
The company has also announced the purchase of 20 Boeing 777 aircraft, as well the opening of its premium terminal in Doha International Airport later this month.
Qatar Airways says it will be the world's first stand-alone terminal open exclusively to business and first-class passengers. It features a spa, jacuzzi and fine dining facilities.
Recently, the company announced that its delivery of two-deck Airbus A380s would be put back until 2010 due to manufacturing problems.
Al Bakar said at the World Travel market in London that the airline would be taking 20 Boeing 777s on option. This comes in addition to the 20 confirmed 777s, deliveries of which will begin next year.
The 777s are expected to form the backbone of the airline’s fleet and to be used on the long-haul routes to North America and Australasia. They will be taken in three variants, the long range (LR), extended range (ER) and freighter versions.
Though financing details of the 20 aircraft already on order are not available, the cost is expected to come to $4.24 billion.