Qatar Airways launches daily flights to Houston
Doha, March 31, 2009
Qatar Airways has announced the launch of its daily non-stop flights from Doha to Houston linking the world’s energy capitals and marking the carrier’s 84th destination.
The carrier on Monday night celebrated its first foray into America’s southern states. The new route gives Qatar Airways its third daily non-stop service to America, supplementing existing daily services to Washington DC and New York City.
Qatar Airways chief executive officer Akbar Al Baker led a delegation of Qatar Airways executives, Qatari VIPs and media from across the GCC on flight QR077 as the inaugural flight from Doha made its near 17-hour non-stop journey to Houston.
They were greeted at George Bush Intercontinental Airport by a traditional fireman’s water cannon welcome salute, musical entertainment by a jazz trio, followed by official ceremonies, which included ribbon-cutting and speeches by business and government officials.
Rob Wigington, deputy director of marketing, communications and community affairs with the Houston Airport System, and Annise Parker, Houston City controller, delivered the welcome address.
Dignitaries included Qatar’s ambassador to the US Ali bin Fahad Al-Hajri, as well as Texas government officials and Houston city leaders.
'Expressing delight at the debut launch to Houston, Al Baker said, 'After more than a year of planning, we are finally on Texan soil.'
“Qatar Airways makes history by connecting the world’s energy capitals of Doha and Houston. It is with great pride that we are able to offer the business and leisure communities of these two great cities – and cities within the US and across the Middle East and beyond – with a great new direct flight.
The flight QR077 takes off from Doha International Airport at 0950 hrs and arrives in Houston at 1810 hrs, while the return flight QR078 leaves Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport at 2030 hrs and lands in Doha at 1940 hrs the following day.
“With a flying time under 17 hours, this clearly is the longest flight in Qatar Airways’ route network and one of the longest non-stop services in the world using our two state-of-the-art Boeing 777-200 Long Range aircraft dedicated to this route,” he added.
Al Baker said Houston was the first new route launch for Qatar Airways in a robust year of growth which would see new destinations of Sydney and Melbourne in Australia; Goa and Amritsar in India; and two additional European points joining its growing international network.
Al Baker explained that Qatar Airways was committed to developing its business and reaching out to the travelling public with flights and frequencies to give passengers greater choice.
In 2007, Qatar Airways placed orders for 14 Boeing 777-300ERs, six of the 777-200 Long Range variant and seven 777-200 freighters – all for scheduled delivery until mid-2010.
There are options for a further five Boeing 777 aircraft. Qatar Airways has so far taken delivery of eight Boeing 777 aircraft, of which two are the Long Range variant operating on the Houston route.
The airline’s daily service to Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport offers flexibility and convenience to business and leisure travelers alike.
The Boeing 777-200 Long Range aircraft operating on the route offers a two-class configuration of 259 seats and is arguably the most spacious aircraft of any airline flying from the Middle East to the US, Al Baker added.-TradeArabia News Service