Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker has hailed the start of his airline's partnership with FC Barcelona, describing it as "truly history in the making".
The Gulf carrier on Tuesday officially launched the start of its three year tie-up with an event held at Camp Nou, the iconic home ground of the Spanish football champions.
In attendance were leading representatives of both organisations including Al Baker and the president of FC Barcelona, Sandro Rosell.
Al Baker said: “The joining of FCB and Qatar Airways is truly history in the making. It is the first time we enter into such a landmark, significant sports partnership.
“We understand the importance of FCB to Catalonia, to Spain, and in fact – to every country around the world. It is a great honour to be standing side by side as you create and spread the excitement that this great game of football brings to fans.”
Al Baker added: “Our aim with this new campaign is to show to the world how strongly we stand behind this new partnership, which we will share with passengers across our entire network.
“This partnership will also raise Qatar Airways and FC Barcelona to a new platform internationally, bringing the fans of FCB closer together.
Qatar Airways began operating to Spain in December 2005 and currently flies 10-times-weekly to Barcelona and daily to Madrid.
FC Barcelona football club President Sandro Rosell said: "We have a long journey ahead lasting three years in which we will share experiences, with a common starting point and goals.
"Barça and Qatar Airways are united by many ideals, such as a passion to be better each day, the conviction that the human factor makes a difference and the integration of different cultures, but I would emphasise the desire we have to connect with people. And this desire leads us to want to be every day closer to our fans."
Qatar Airways will work with FC Barcelona to create joint initiatives and will especially focus on connecting with the club’s fans and also with underprivileged children to spread the love of the game to all corners of the globe, the airline said in a statement.