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Wed 13 Jan 2016 12:01 PM

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Qatar Airways plans further US expansion

New LA route will add $600m to the local economy, says Los Angeles mayor

Qatar Airways plans further US expansion

Following the
launch of its new daily non-stop service from Doha to Los Angeles International
Airport (LAX), Qatar Airways has announced it plans to expand to other US
destinations.

The Doha-based
carrier launched its new service to the US amid the ongoing dispute between
Gulf carriers and the US airlines. American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and
United Airlines have claimed “unfair competition” from Gulf airlines is
impacting on their business, saying the likes of Emirates, Etihad and Qatar
AIrways are being supported by government subsidies - a claim strongly denied.

Qatar Airways
CEO Akbar Al Baker, speaking at the launch of the LAX service, said the airline
plans to expand further into the US.

“Los Angeles is
one of the great centres of world aviation and will become a vital component in
our expanding global network,” said Al Baker. “We look forward to introducing
‘Angelenos’ to our award-winning signature service, with access to more than
150 destinations around the world, through our central hub in Doha.”

The Los Angeles
mayor, Eric Garcetti, said the new flight will bring an additional boost to the
local economy.

“I’m pleased to
welcome Qatar Airways’ new service between LAX and Doha. This new international
flight will add more than $600 million to our economy, boost our growing
tourism sector, and support thousands of new jobs for Angelenos. It’s exciting
to see LAX take yet another step forward as it continues to extend its reach
across the globe,” he said.

Al Baker also
spoke about the increased cargo capacity made available by the new Los Angeles
service, with a fourth weekly freighter to serve LAX starting January 19.

Following the
press conference, Qatar Airways hosted a celebratory launch gala at the Dolby
Theatre in Hollywood, which featured a performance by global superstar Mariah
Carey.

LA is the
eighth US destination for Qatar Airways, and the airline will launch new
services later this year to Boston (March 16) and Atlanta (June 1), as well as
a second daily flight to New York's JFK Airport in April.

In addition to
new routes, the airline has brought the new Airbus A350 XWB to the States,
where it now flies a daily, non-stop service to and from Philadelphia (PHL).
The A350s will also serve the Philadelphia and Boston routes and the second JFK
flight.

During an
interview with US media last month, Al Baker said he has two other US
destinations in mind where the airline planned to expand into, but didn’t name
them.

The company
will also open a new flagship office at New York’s Empire State Building.

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