CHICAGO, April 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Chicago's Mayor Rahm Emanuel and senior officials held a high level meeting this week with Qatar Airways Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker to herald the beginning of new passenger flights between Chicago O'Hare and Doha International Airport.
Mr. Al Baker met with Mayor Emanuel, Deputy Mayor Steve Koch, Commissioner for the Chicago Department of Aviation, Rosemarie Andolino, and State of Qatar's Ambassador to the United States His Excellency Mohamed Bin Abdulla Al-Rumaihi to discuss new trade, business and investment opportunities.
Qatar Airways launched thrice-weekly scheduled passenger flights between Doha and Chicago this week, with plans to upgrade to a daily service from June 15. The carrier has already been operating twice-weekly dedicated cargo flights on the route since 2010.
During the courtesy visit to City Hall, Al Baker said that the airline planned to bring new opportunities to the city of Chicago by investing in the community and helping boost trade, tourism and business links between the State of Qatar and Chicago.
"Under Mayor Emanuel, Chicago has taken great strides to expand its presence as a global leader," commented Al Baker afterwards.
"Qatar Airways is honoured to be a part of these efforts and will, in turn, offer a great boost to the local economy of the city, helping to generate new jobs and create an economic impact of over US $210 million in revenues for the first year alone.
"Opening services to Chicago is a tremendous step for Qatar Airways marking our fourth gateway in the United States. This great city is among the centres of world aviation and has been a key destination for us to serve as the world's best airline for some time. We look forward to introducing Chicago travellers to our award-winning Five Star service, while introducing our passengers from around the world to our newest destination.
Added Al Baker: "Qatar Airways looks forward to creating a lasting connection between the cities of Chicago and Doha. There are abundant opportunities for cultural exchange and business collaboration between two cities that share so much in common. We remain steadfast in our commitment to serving the people of Chicago in the air and on the ground."
Both Mayor Emanuel and Commissioner Andolino expressed their excitement about the partnership between Qatar Airways and Chicago, bringing great benefits to both Chicago travellers and the city itself. They were also delighted to hear Qatar Airways' plans to bring new jobs and income to the city.
Qatar Airways offers travellers from Chicago an exciting network of destinations to fly to, including cities across the Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific via its Doha hub. The airline operates a modern fleet of 122 aircraft to over 126 destinations globally, including destinations in Europe and South America.
In addition to Chicago, Qatar Airways' US footprint includes daily non-stop flights between New York, Houston, Washington DC and Doha.
Over the next few weeks and months, Qatar Airways will launch scheduled flights to a diverse portfolio of new routes, including Salalah, Oman (May 22); Basra, Iraq (June 3), Sulaymaniyah, Iraq (August 20), Chengdu, China (September 3) with many more start-ups to be announced.
SOURCE Qatar Airways