The Qatar Source - Qatar Airways News & Information
The Qatar Source - Qatar Airways News & Information

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Qatar Airways was formed in November 1993 and commenced operations in January 1994 using a Boeing 767-200ER wet-leased from Kuwait Airways. In its original incarnation the airline was entirely owned by members of the Qatar Royal Family and was structured as a no-frills carrier.

However in 1997 the airline was re-structured and a new management team were put in place. Currently the airline is 50% owned by the government of Qatar and 50% owned by private investors. It was in 1997 that the now familiar grey and burgundy livery was launched on newly delivered Airbus A300 A7-ABN.

In 1999 the airline took delivery of its first Airbus A320 when A7-ABR arrived on lease from SALE.

In May 2003 the first Airbus A330-200 A7-ACA was delivered. Cebu, Singapore, Tripoli and Vienna were added to the network in December 2003. By year end twenty eight aircraft were in the fleet.

Orders for the A3XX, later named A380, were confirmed in 2003.

At the 2005 Paris Air Show the airline announced an order for sixty Airbus A350XWB aircraft.

The first Boeing 777-300ER arrived late in 2007.

2008 saw Guangzhou and Kozhikode added to the network. Expansion had been so rapid that the Premium Terminal was extended this year.

The 2009 Paris Air Show saw orders for twenty Airbus A320 and four Airbus A321s. The first Boeing 777-200LR was delivered this year enabling services to begin to Melbourne.

New destinations for 2010 were Ankara, Bangalore, Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Copenhagen, Hanoi, Nice, Phuket, Sao Paolo and Tokyo Narita.

New routes for 2011 were Bucharest, Budapest, Brussels, Stuttgart and Aleppo, which became the landmark one hundredth destination. Further expansion through the year saw Oslo, Benghazi, Entebbe and Chongqing added to the network.

An additional six Boeing 777s were ordered at the 2011 Paris Air Show followed by a mega Airbus order at 2011 Dubai Air Show when a further five Airbus A380s plus fifty Airbus A320NEOs with options for a further twenty were signed for. The A320 family aircraft can be either A319, A320 or A321 models.

Announced for 2012 are new services to Isfahan, Perth,

Construction began on the New Doha International Airport in 2005 which is just 4km from the existing facility and will be built largely on reclaimed land. The new airport will be twelve times larger than the existing airport and will be two thirds the size of the city of Doha. This highlights how much the airline is dependent on connecting traffic through Doha rather than origin and destination traffic. Due to the time it will take to build the new airport the existing airport needed to be expanded at the same time.

In November 2006 the US$90 million Premium Terminal was opened at Doha International. This facility handles all First and Business Class passengers and was completed in just nine months. The airline reached the milestone of a fifty aircraft fleet this year.

The first of four Airbus A340-600 aircraft arrived in 2006.

At the 2007 Paris Air Show the airline confirmed orders for eighty Airbus A350XWBs and at the Dubai Air Show the airline announced record orders for sixty Boeing 787 Dreamliners and thirty two Boeing 777s including five Freighters.

June 2007 saw the airline launch flights to Newark, following this the next month by launching daily flights to Washington.