PHILADELPHIA, April 2, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Qatar Airways' inaugural flight to Philadelphia touched down at Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) this morning marking the airline's fifth gateway in the United States.
With the launch of the daily service between Philadelphia and Qatar Airways' hub in Doha, capital of the State of Qatar, the city becomes destination number 137 in the airline's expanding worldwide network.
Qatar Airways now operates 35 passenger flights a week between the United States and Doha – daily from New York, Washington DC, Chicago, Houston and Philadelphia.
Flight QR727 arrived to a warm welcome at a grand airport ceremony attended by a number of dignitaries, including Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer, His Excellency, Mr. Akbar Al Baker, Mayor of Philadelphia, Michael A. Nutter, and Chief Executive Officer of Philadelphia International Airport, Mark Gale.
The maiden flight carried international media and airline management, including Mr. Al Baker. The new route offers a connection between Philadelphia and a vast number of destinations across the Middle East, Africa, India and Asia Pacific via Doha, while the morning departure time from Philadelphia offers US passengers a unique opportunity to access an entirely new schedule of connecting flights out of Doha.
Mr. Al Baker and Philadelphia airport authorities delivered speeches at Philadelphia International Airport to mark the occasion, noting the economic impact of Qatar Airways' arrival in the city. "I would like to take this special opportunity to thank the people of Philadelphia and local airport authorities for their great support in helping Qatar Airways launch passenger flights to this vibrant city," said Mr. Al Baker.
"Today, Philadelphia joins our existing North American hubs: Chicago, New York, Washington DC, Houston and Montreal," continued Al Baker. "But only our newest gateway offers a unique, morning route to Doha, our earliest departure from North America, and provides passengers with unprecedented access to a new schedule of convenient connections to our entire global network."
Philadelphia is a key destination for business and leisure travelers alike. One of the world's busiest airports, it sees 30.5 million passengers a year.
"Our 5-star service begins by forging a connection with the communities we serve and we appreciate the opportunity to work together with this great city," added Mr. Al Baker.
Mr. Al Baker explained that Philadelphia marked yet another significant milestone for the airline, which is expanding its global network at a remarkable pace.
Qatar Airways' Doha to Philadelphia route is being operated with a Boeing 777-200LR in a two-class configuration of 42 seats in Business and 217 seats in Economy. The aircraft offers seatback TV screens providing passengers with the next generation interactive onboard entertainment system and a choice of more than 1,000 audio and video options.
Qatar Airways has seen rapid growth in just 17 years of operations, currently flying a modern fleet of 131 aircraft to more than 130 key business and leisure destinations across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and the Americas.
Qatar Airways is set to launch services to a diverse portfolio of new routes during the coming months, including Larnaca, Cyprus (April 29), Sabiha Gokcen Airport, Turkey (May 22), Edinburgh, Scotland (May 28), Miami, USA (June 10), Haneda, Japan (June 18), Dallas/Fort Worth, USA (July 1) and Djibouti (July 27).
The DOHA – PHILADELPHIA Daily Schedule
Depart Doha: QR727 at 01:05 hrs, arrive in Philadelphia at 0755 hrs
Depart Philadelphia: QR728 at 10:15 hrs, arrive in Doha at 06:10 hrs following day
Notes to Editors:
Qatar Airways is the national carrier of the State of Qatar. Currently undergoing rapid expansion, Qatar Airways is one of the fastest growing airlines operating one of the youngest fleets in the world. Now in its 17th year of operations, Qatar Airways has a modern fleet of 131 aircraft flying to 137 key business and leisure destinations across six continents.
On October 30, 2013, Qatar Airways joined the oneworld Alliance, becoming the first Gulf carrier to join a global airline alliance, enabling its customers to benefit from almost 1,000 airports in more than 150 countries, with 14,000 daily departures.
Award-winning carrier Qatar Airways was presented with three honours at the annual Skytrax 2013 World Airline Awards held during the Paris Air Show at Le Bourget, France, last June. The airline was awarded World's Best Business Class, World's Best Business Class Lounge and, for the second consecutive year, Best Airline Staff Service in the Middle East.
During the 2013 Dubai Air Show the airline placed orders for more than 60 new aircraft – a mixture of Boeing 777X and Airbus A330 Freighters. In total the airline has 300 aircraft on order worth more than US $50 billion. The airline will move into its new hub and home, Hamad International Airport, from mid 2014. For more information, visit www.qatarairways.com.
For further information contact:
PUBLIC, NYC LLC, Qatar Airways' North American PR Firm
Tel: (212) 431-1470
SOURCE Qatar Airways