April 12, 2007

Banks arrange $200mn loan for Qatar Airways

QATAR National Bank (QNB) and Standard Chartered Bank Qatar yesterday announced that they had arranged a $200mn syndicated term loan facility for Qatar Airways.

Commenting on the facility, QNB’s acting chief executive Ali Shareef al-Emadi said bank’s participation in the syndication underscores its strategy to invest in vital upcoming projects in Qatar, while demonstrating the long-standing partnership with Qatar Airways and Standard Chartered Bank.

“The involvement forms part of QNB’s strategic plans, in line with its vision, development fundamentals and result-oriented initiatives,” he said.
Standard Chartered Bank Qatar chief executive officer Kris Babicci said the partnership with Qatar’s national carrier showcased the ability to leverage both Standard Chartered Bank’s international market position and QNB’s domestic strength to provide the breadth and depth in financing solutions.

Qatar Airways chief executive officer Akbar al-Baker stated that the agreement demonstrated the level of commitment by financial institutions in Qatar Airways as an airline highly focused on growth.

“I am delighted that QNB and Standard Chartered Bank have chosen to support Qatar Airways as we continue to expand with vigour,” he added.
Qatar Airways currently operates a fleet of 57 all-Airbus aircraft to 75 cities across Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Far East and the Indian subcontinent.

Net booking engine launched

QATAR Airways has launched a new Internet booking engine, allowing passengers anywhere in the world to search for a Qatar Airways flight across the network, book and pay online and have tickets issued automatically through its website, www.qatarairways.com.

The new booking engine provides passengers with greater flexibility in making reservations from their home or office 24-hours a day, an airline official said.
One of the features of the new site was the lowest fare finder facility, which displayed different flight options across a wide range of dates.
As a bonus to book online, members of Qatar Airways’ Privilege Club loyalty programme would receive an extra 500 Qmiles.

The website offers online credit card payments and customers could choose to collect a paper ticket or receive an electronic ticket confirmation to their e-mail address, issued instantly 24-hours a day, seven days a week upon confirming bookings.
The facility is part of a series of initiatives being introduced by the airline over the next few months.

As part of its commitment to e-commerce, the airline would introduce more web-based services and have a new-look website, beginning this summer, the official said.
Qatar Airways CEO Akbar al-Baker said as the airline was growing at an unprecedented rate, it was striving to ensure passengers were provided with more ease and greater levels of comfort during the booking process.

“As we grow our business - and we are growing at an incredible rate - we recognise the importance of providing all our passengers with easier processes and the new-look booking engine will definitely make the booking procedure more convenient.”

Source: www.gulf-times.com

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