Qatar Airways opens its new first-class lounge for first and business class travellers at London”s Heathrow Airport. The airline also announced launch date of its flights to new destinations as a part of its massive 2012 route expansion.

 The flag carrier of Qatar, Qatar Airways kick started its new premium lounge for first and business class travellers at London”s Heathrow Airport. Situated at Terminal 4 of the airport, this premium lounge is airlines” first facility for first-class travellers outside its Doha hub.

As per airline sources, the newly opened lounge is designed like a boutique hotel and can accommodate up to 90 passengers. The lounge staff has been specially recruited from five star hotels and restaurants to provide first-class services to the travellers through its theatre-style Global Brasserie kitchen, innovative Delicatessen, and Signature Martini bar that are the lounge”s key features.

The lounge also boasts private shower services, heated floors and mirrors, hotel-style towels, branded toiletries and other modern amenities. Free Wi-Fi connection throughout the lounge and discreet power sockets at each seat apart from a business centre including computers and printers are other amenities offered to the business and leisure travellers booking tickets for flights to London.

At the launch of this premium lounge, Qatar”s Ambassador to the UK, His Excellency, Khalid bin Rashid bin Salim Al-Hamoudi Al-Mansouri congratulated Mr. Akbar al-Baker, CEO of Qatar Airways. He stated “Qatar Airways has been continuously setting the standards in the aviation field across the globe for over a decade. This new lounge raises the bar yet again and reflects all that is best in Qatari standards, hospitality and luxury.”

Qatar Airways, that operates an award-winning Premium lounge at its Doha hub has for long had London as one of the best-performing routes, which is why it chose Heathrow for the first Premium Lounge outside Doha.

Airline”s press release states Al Baker quoting that “London has long been one of our best-performing routes, so Heathrow was an obvious choice for our first Premium Lounge outside Doha.

“With frequency on our highly popular Heathrow route soon rising to five flights a day, it was vitally important that we provided a dedicated facility for our loyal customers travelling in our premium cabins and enjoy the comforts of an airport facility before departure,” he told guests.

“The international spotlight will firmly be on the British capital this summer with the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games taking place, so we look forward to the increase in capacity and welcome more premium travellers on our high demand services to and from London.

“The lounge is the latest development in our rapidly expanding global route network and we are eyeing opportunities to open further airport lounges in destinations where we operate more than two frequencies a day.”

Qatar”s Expansion Plan in 2012

The Heathrow premium lounge opening marks the beginning of another eventful year for Qatar Airways. While the lounge is aimed at the airline”s premium passengers, those seeking to travel oncheap flights by grabbing cheap economy class tickets with the airline also have a reason to rejoice. Qatar Airways plans to increase flights and add new global routes to its route network.

The airline has announced additional capacity for its London Heathrow – Doha route. Effective March 25, it will operate daily five flights to London as compared to four at present resulting into a higher inventory of economy class tickets on a daily basis.

In a press release earlier last week, the airline announced the launch dates for most of its flights to new destinations in Africa, Europe and Australia as a part of its massive 2012 route expansion.

These destinations include flights to Baku (Azerbaijan) and Tbilisi (Georgia) scheduled for February 1; Kigali (Rwanda) on March 21 and Zagreb (Croatia) on May 9.

Beginning July, the airline adds its second gateway to Australia with flights to Perth operating thrice a week from July 3. The airline had launched flights to Australia in December 2009 with direct flights to Melbourne. It has since been considering additional capacity to the country which it now achieves with launch of flights to Perth.

The new route will directly benefit those looking to travel economy class on cheap flights to Australia as the airline plans to operate Boeing 777 aircraft on the route with 259 seats in two class configuration – 217 Economy Class seats and rest Business Class seats convertible into fully horizontal flat beds. Effective 1st December, the route will be upgraded to a daily service.

The dates for launch of routes are yet to be announced for Gassim (Saudi Arabia), Helsinki (Finland), Mombasa (Kenya) and Zanzibar (Tanzania).

Qatar Airway”s press release reveals that it now operates flights to 110 key business and leisure destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, North America and South America with a modern fleet of 104 aircraft. By 2013, the airline plans to serve over 120 destinations worldwide with a fleet of more than 120 aircraft.

(Source: Qatar Airways Press Release)

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