QA inaugural flight lands in Chicago
Chicago, April 11, 2013
Qatar Airways' (QA) inaugural flight to the city of Chicago touched down at O'Hare International Airport today marking the airline's fourth gateway in the United States.
With the launch of thrice-weekly passenger services between The Windy City and Qatar Airways' hub in Doha, Chicago becomes destination number 126 in the airline's worldwide network, a statement from the airline company said.
Qatar Airways now operates 24 passenger flights a week between the United States and Doha - daily from New York, Washington DC and Houston and the new thrice-weekly services from Chicago.
Effective June 15, the Chicago - Doha route will increase to a daily service, the statement said. Qatar Airways also operates twice-weekly dedicated cargo flights between the two cities, launched in August 2010.
The maiden flight to Chicago carried international media and airline management, and the airport ceremony was attended by a number of dignitaries, including Qatar's Ambassador to the US, Mohamad Bin Abdulla Al-Rumaihi; Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker; and airport officials, the statement said.
"I would like to take this special opportunity to thank the people of Chicago and local airport authorities for their great support in helping Qatar Airways launch passenger flights to this vibrant city," said Al Baker.
"After more than five successful years of operations in North America, we are pleased to introduce Chicago as our fourth and newest US gateway and look forward to welcoming travellers from the Midwest and its catchment area to fly with us to many parts of the world and, similarly welcome visitors from around the world to this great city.”
"Chicago is a key route for business and leisure travellers alike, home to the world's second busiest international airport with 70 million passengers a year.”
"Qatar Airways was first introduced to the city in 2010 through its successful cargo operations, which helped set the stage for a longer term partnership with this thriving city,” Al Baker added.
"With the local tourism industry receiving 50 million visitors annually and Chicago being the headquarters of some of the world's biggest corporates, including Boeing, there are many business opportunities linking our two cities and regions.
"Qatar Airways today spreads its reach in North America and we are proud to say that our commitments here will continue," he added.
City of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, said: "Chicago is pleased to welcome Qatar Airways' world-class service to our global gateway, O'Hare International Airport. This new international air service creates additional economic opportunities, increases tourism to our city and strengthens Chicago's cultural and business connection to the world.”
"This service will generate more than $200 million in annual economic impact and will connect passengers from Chicago to destinations across India, Africa, the Middle East and Asia."
Aside from Chicago, New York, Washington DC and Houston, Qatar Airways' North American operations covers thrice-weekly services to Montreal.
Qatar Airways' Doha to Chicago route is being operated with a Boeing 777-300 extended range aircraft in a two-class configuration of 293 seats in economy class and 42 in business class, the statement said.
The aircraft features seatback TV screens providing all passengers in both cabins with the next generation interactive onboard entertainment system - a choice of more than 1,000 audio and video-on-demand options.
One of the world's fastest growing airlines, Qatar Airways has seen rapid growth in 16 years of operations, currently flying a modern fleet of 122 aircraft to 126 key business and leisure destinations worldwide.
Qatar Airways is set to launch services to a diverse portfolio of new routes during 2013, including Salalah, Oman (May 22); Basra, Iraq (June 3), Sulaymaniyah, Iraq (August 20), Chengdu, China, at a date to be confirmed and many more start-ups to be announced, it said. – TradeArabia News Service