Qatar Airways adds jetliner to fleet


Qatar Airways has announced plans to operate an Airbus Corporate Jetliner (ACJ) configured for A319 long-range operations.

The airline's Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg recently that the aircraft, Qatar's second ACJ, was scheduled to enter service in mid-2003 and would be named 'Oryx Long Range.'

Qatar's first ACJ is in operation with the airline since mid-2001, carrying the name 'Oryx Express.'

The A319 Long Range is the latest addition to the Airbus A320 family of aircraft.

It combines the performance capabilities of the ACJ with the qualities of a premium-class airliner.

The ACJ, a longer-range version of the A319, can fly as far as 11,100 km.

The airline also announced that it was adding four new routes to Europe and to the Indian sub-continent.

Al Baker said the airline would begin flying to Rome, Manchester soon after having already begun services to Kochi in southern India and Islamabad.

A thrice-weekly Kochi service started last month while flights to the Pakistani capital were to begin on March 31.

The airline is to fly four times a week to Manchester from April 2. The Rome service, connecting through Milan, will operate from June 16, also four times a week.

Qatar Airways, which was founded in 1994, is owned equally by the government and private investors.

Meanwhile the Doha Securities Market (DSM) has decided to stop trading in stocks of the Qatar Leisure and Tourism Development Co (QLTDC), after Qatar Airways agreed to buy the firm.

Officials said the move is also aimed at protecting the interests of QLTDC's 2,500 shareholders.

The company owns Qatar's sole themed amusement park, the Aladdin's Kingdom, located in the West Bay area of the capital.

According to earlier news reports, Qatar Airways had offered the QLTDC management, a sum of QR30 million to buy the Aladdin's Kingdom.