Qatar to fly gi­ant Air­bus on China routes

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - ByWANGWENin Doha, Qatar wang­wen@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Qatar Air­ways Group, which re­ceived the world’s first Air­bus 350 XWB last month, ex­pects to fly its new gi­ant toChina from early 2016, the chief ex­ec­u­tive of the group said onWed­nes­day.

Ak­bar Al Baker said it will use the A350 XWB to sub­sti­tute its A330 air­craft cur­rently fly­ing to ci­ties in China, in­clud­ing Hangzhou in Zhe­jiang prov­ince, Chengdu in Sichuan prov­ince, Guangzhou in Guang­dong prov­ince and Chongqing.

The car­rier cur­rently uses Boe­ing 777-300ER and su­per jumbo A380 air­craft on its ser­vices to Beijing and Shang­hai, and Al Baker also said it is con­sid­er­ing launch­ing ser­vices to newdes­ti­na­tions in China.

“We are ex­pect­ing in­crease our ef­forts into

to the China mar­ket as the coun­try has both a strong econ­omy and tourism mar­ket,” said Al Baker. Friendly po­lit­i­cal re­la­tions be­tween the coun­tries also pro­vide a strong business op­por­tu­nity for the car­rier, he said.

Qatar Air­ways is the launch cus­tomer of the A350 XWB — ex­tra wide body — which is be­ing strongly touted as one of the mar­ket’s most ad­vanced air­craft.

Mike Bau­sor, Air­bus’ A350 XWB mar­ket­ing di­rec­tor, said that by the end of Novem­ber the Euro­pean air­plane man­u­fac­turer had re­ceived 778 con­firmed or­ders for the ex­tra wide-bod­ied vari­ant.

Air China Ltd or­dered 10 A350 XWBs in 2010, with those ex­pected to be de­liv­ered by 2020. Hong Kong Air­lines, a sub­sidiary of Hainan Air­lines Co Ltd, is also wait­ing for 15 of the air­craft.

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