Qatar Airways says India remains hot market

October 22nd, 2008 - 7:30 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Oct 22 (IANS) Leading Gulf carrier Qatar Airways Wednesday said India remained an important market not just for its civil aviation operations but also as the principal source for manpower, including crew and other trained staff.The airline also said it hoped to put an Airbus-380 aircraft - out of five expected to be delivered beginning 2010 - on the India route, since it was among the most promising countries for expansion.

“Forty percent of our team is from India. Since we cater to a wide variety of countries, our crew should be able to speak multiple languages,” said Naveen Chawla, the regional manager for India with the Qatari carrier.

“We will continue to keep adding people, as the current global turmoil has not affected our operations. Our passenger load factor remains very healthy,” Chawla told reporters here, outlining the carrier’s expansion plans for the US.

“Qatar Airways has one of the most successful operations in India.”

The executive said his airline was a “network carrier” where the focus was on wooing transit passengers through their hub in Doha, rather than point-to-point operations. “This is the main reason our operations have not been affected.”

He said Kozhikode in Kerala was recently added as the ninth destination in India to result in as many as 58 flights a week from the country with early morning arrivals in Doha for convenient onward connections to the US.

Chawla said while excellent connectivity was already being offered to New York and Washington, March next year will see the addition of Houston in Texas, also called the energy capital of the US.

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