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Mon 28 May 2007 02:30 PM

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Passenger boost for Qatar Airways

The airline expects to fly 12 million travellers by 2009 when part of the new Doha airport opens.

Qatar Airways is seeing a 35% rise in the number of passengers flying with the carrier each year, it was announced today.

According to a Gulf News report, the airline is estimated to fly 12 million people by 2009.

"We had just over six million passengers last year. This year we are expecting about eight million. We are growing 35 per cent year-on-year," he was quoted in Gulf News.

The Doha-based carrier expects the surge in passenger numbers when the New Doha International Airport opens in two years, said general manager for commercial operations, Ali Al Rais.

The new $5.5 billion airport will be able to handle 24 million passengers when work on the first and second phases is completed in 2009. It is scheduled for completion in 2015 with a total passenger handling capacity of 50 million.

Qatar Airways is also looking to boost its number of destinations - currently 75 - and expand its fleet to attract more customers and meet the target, Al Rais said.

The airline said in March that it plans to


add 80 Airbus A350s

and 22 Boeing 777s to its fleet.

It is also starting flights to

New York and Washington

this summer.

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