, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 8- Qatar Airways has taken delivery of four new aircraft, wrapping up a busy 2009 for the Doha-based airline, which saw it acquire a total of 11 new aircraft, launch four new routes and set up a new corporate jet subsidiary.
The two Boeing 777-200 Long Range aircraft and two Airbus A320s bring the airline’s fleet size up to 76 aircraft and are expected to give the airline a firm footing in the expansion of its regional network as well as the enhancement of its long-haul and ultra long-haul flying programme.
“The newly-inducted A320s are the first deliveries of the airline’s 24-Airbus A320 family of aircraft ordered at the Paris Air Show in June. Despite the current economic climate hanging over many economies around the world, Qatar Airways continues to build on a clear long-term strategy to develop its operations globally,” the airlines Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said.
He disclosed that they currently have orders for more than 220 aircraft worth over $40 billion which are expected to enable them maintain a young and modern portfolio of planes. 22 narrow body aircraft, which includes 18 Airbus A320s and four A321s, are due to be delivered over a two-year period ending in December 2012, he said.
“With a planned delivery schedule of more than one new aircraft a month over the next few years, the new aircraft deliveries will replace older aircraft and boost our fleet,” the CEO added.
He expressed their commitment to continue developing their fleet as well as offering the latest in-flight features such as a wide choice of movies, TV programmes in different languages, 500 international CD albums to the travelling public.
“Today’s consumer is becoming more demanding and, we at Qatar Airways recognise the need to remain at the forefront of the aviation industry by flying modern aircraft and offer the best levels of comfort and in-flight amenities,” he said.
The entertainment features will be introduced on the Nairobi to Doha route during this year to brighten the four hour flight experience for passengers, Mr Al Baker added.
Qatar Airways operates daily flights from Nairobi and Dar es Salaam to Doha with convenient onward connections to a network of over 80 destinations.
In addition the airline has three freighter services each week between Nairobi and Doha which carry horticultural produce for export markets.