At a press conference at Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar, Akbar Al Baker, Group Chief Executive of Qatar Airways also revealed plans to create a second, even larger cargo terminal at the airline’s hub. The new facility, combined with the current facility, will allow Qatar Airways Cargo to handle 4.4 million tonnes of cargo a year, an increase from today’s 1.4 million tonne capacity.

Al Baker indicated that future plans include building further capacity for cargo at Hamad International Airport, to up to 7 million tonnes, after current expansion plans are complete.

It was also announced that according to the latest IATA international FTK figures, Qatar Airways Cargo is now the third largest international cargo airline in the world. This is phenomenal growth for company, which has risen to the number three position from 16th place in just five years, and now boasts a freighter fleet of six Airbus 330s, eight Boeing 777s and one Boeing 747.

Ulrich Ogiermann, Qatar Airways Chief Officer Cargo, said:

The new cargo terminal, which is scheduled to open in 2018, underlines our commitment to continued growth and expansion in line with the airline’s group objectives for the future. Having the ability to handle 4.4 million tonnes of cargo a year will put Qatar Airways Cargo into another league, and enhance the efficiency and service already offered at our existing state-of-the-art facility.’

Further announcements made today at the press conference, which was attended by key international cargo media, include plans to launch two new speciality products: QR Equine and QR Express.

Also read: Qatar Airways Cargo to Launch Express Airfreight Service for Door-to-Door Shipments

QR Equine offers a five-star service and world-class facility for the transportation of horses managed by a dedicated team of experts. With Qatar Airways Cargo’s modern fleet of Airbus and Boeing freighters with controlled temperature zones, a network of more than 150 destinations, comfortable and spacious horse stalls, and dedicated grooms that accompany the horses, the airline guarantees the care, comfort, safety and reliability for the smooth transportation of every equine guest. On the ground at its state-of-art hub in Doha, Qatar Airways Cargo’s Live Animal facility offers an equally sophisticated environment with air conditioned holding stalls, a paddock and on-site veterinary personnel.

Also read: Qatar Airways Cargo Transports 67 Horses From Belgium to Qatar for Final Grand Prix at Al Shaqab

QR Express provides clients with the opportunity to book through a simplified system with high boarding priority and rapid handling, guaranteeing the speedy delivery of their cargo. Other key features include short and flexible close outs, quick and dedicated ramp transfer (for transit express), as well as priority loading at origin and unloading at final destination and speedy retrieval at final destination (approximately 90mins).