I have been reading the correspondence on the Qatar Airways A380 order with great interest. I worked for Qatar Airways for 4 years and was one of the founding managers being responsible for sales and marketing for Europe and North America from Jan97-Dec2000.
The prefix is QR and they have about 10 Aircraft, 5x A300-600R's and 5 x A320's. From Europe they currently fly from London Heathrow, Paris and Munich
Qatar itself is a very small county attached by what is called the inland sea and sits on top of Saudia Arabia.
Qatar Airways was originally formed in 1994 and had 3 x B727-200's and 2 EX ANA B747-100's with a 492 seating capacity. It was a cheap and cheerful airline.
Now however it is a much more modern product with a full inflight service incl alcohol. However Qatar as a country only has a population of 500,000 people of which only 150,000 are Qatari's, the rest of the population are immigrant workers from the Indian Sub-continent and Far east, such as Thailand and Phillipines.
I was not suprised to learn that they ordered A330-200's as the A300-600R's needed replacing, but the order for 2x A380's is quite suprising for a small population base. Most of their traffic is 5th and 6th freedom as the home market is too small and would not sustain enough traffic.
I would suspect that as the order is for 2007 that it is because arch rival Emirates in nearby Dubai has ordered them already and also because QR wants to displace Gulf Air as the next big airline in the region. Also I would suspect that in 2007 Qatar Airways wants to fly non-stop to the USA and possibly to the far east and Australia, however the traffic will have to increase substantially as they currently only have just over 1 million passengers per annum.
Qatar Airways is 50% owned by the Government of Qatar and some private investors. It does not have anything to do with Pakistan, it only flies there to Lahore, Karachi and Peshawar from Doha.
Qatar is pronounced ''Kataarh''
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