30 JANUARY 2012
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Ever the very effective airline showman, Qatar Airways Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker has chosen the Farnborough Airshow for the international debut of its lead Boeing 787. This year, with the London Olympics following, the event takes place early, 9-15 July. The initial aircraft will then go into service on the high profile London – Doha route
Qatar is due to take delivery of the first of a 30-aircraft order in late spring and will use the plane initally on regional routes. Three more are expected to follow this year, all with a two-class 22/220 layout. The carrier says that it is its policy to focus on a Business Class/Economy cabin in the future with the exception of the Airbus A380 which will have an exclusive First. Premium Economy has been ruled out, Mr Al Baker emphasising that, in his opinion, the airline's Economy offering, with a 34” pitch, is at least the equivalent of other carrier's mid-class product.
Speaking at the opening of the airline's striking new Heathrow T4 lounge (see below) Mr Al Baker said that he was particularly pleased with the success of the airline's recently introduced three times per week route to Chongqing in North West China. He found the municipality (28m population) “inspiring”. www.qatarairways.com
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