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Qatar Airways launches its first freighter at Annual Cargo Conference

Travel News Asia 9 June 2003

Qatar Airways, one of the world's fastest growing airlines, has received its first dedicated freighter, which should significantly boost the carrier's cargo business.

Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Akbar Al Baker, announced the addition of the A300-600R at the company's annual cargo conference in Doha.

"This freighter is expected to generate significant business to the airline," said Mr. Al Baker. "The company is planning to buy two additional dedicated freighters within the coming couple of years."

At a cost of $10 million, the A300-600R passenger aircraft has been converted to a freighter at Elbe Flugzeugweke GmbH (EADS EFW) in Dresden, Germany. The freighter was delivered to Qatar Airways 20 days ahead of schedule.

"With the ability to offer a full payload of 42 tonnes, the freighter will become an integral part of Qatar Airways cargo strategy," said Al Baker. "We are expecting to achieve cargo growth rates in the coming year of around 35 per cent. Along with the new freighter, the new cargo terminal expansion will offer cargo capacity of 180,000 tonnes.

"The freighter will boost cargo capacity, enhance our relationship with shippers and forwarders and establish Doha as a regional cargo hub."

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