Qatar Airways plans Philadelphia expansion

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) - The head of fast-growing Qatar Airways says it plans to add Philadelphia to its routes next year as part of alliances with American Airlines and other U.S.-based carriers.

Qatar Airways is locked in fierce competition with rival Gulf carriers Etihad Airways in Abu Dhabi and Dubai-based Emirates. All three are aggressively seeking new markets, including the U.S.

Qatar Airways' CEO Akbar al-Baker told reporters Monday that service would begin in March to Philadelphia, the carrier's fifth American nonstop destination.

Al-Baker also expressed his backing for the company's decision last week to return to service its Boeing 787 Dreamliners after they were grounded by aviation authorities in multiple countries over battery issues. Qatar has five Dreamliners.

Al-Baker spoke at the opening day of a regional travel exhibition in Dubai.


(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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