Qatar Airways takes delivery of first A320


Qatar Airways has taken delivery of its first A320 from Airbus - one of six scheduled for delivery in the next few years, for use on regional routes from its Doha base.

The airline already operates leased A320s, which the new aircraft will progressively complement.

The A320 was handed over to the airline's chief executive officer, Akbar Al Baker, by Airbus chief operating officer Gustav Humbert, at a ceremony in Toulouse.

"Air travel is a fundamental need of trade and tourism and, despite recent events, we are confident of growing our business by providing it with modern aircraft such as the A320 that we have received today," said Al Baker at the ceremony.

"Passengers can look forward to the quality of our service and, with a young all-Airbus fleet, they can be sure of travelling in both comfort and style."

Meanwhile, the airline has signed a $360 million financing deal for the purchase of the A320 aircraft.

The deal was signed recently with a group of banks lead by Barclays Bank and including Qatar National Bank and Hypo Vereinsbank.

The airline is due to take delivery of the second aircraft in December, with a further four deliveries in April 2002, December 2002, as well as July and August 2003.