Firm to manage HIA may buy stakes in int'l airports: Baker Feb 08, 2017 0 1722 12345 QNAAucklandThe new company to manage and operate Hamad International Airport (HIA) will also acquire stakes in international airports outside Qatar when good investment opportunities are available, Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Akbar al Baker said. The new company also aims at managing HIA in an optimal way, Baker said during a press conference in Auckland on Tuesday.Following the arrival of the airline's first flight to New Zealand, Baker said,"We are proud to offer the people of New Zealand the best possible passenger experience when connecting to friends and family across the globe on board the world's longest commercial flight from Auckland to Doha. The new service will give passengers from New Zealand the opportunity to travel to more than 150 destinations on our global network where they will arrive feeling more refreshed than ever before, thanks to the modern technology and high level of personalised customer service on board."Qatar Airways is committed to bringing more visitors to Auckland and boosting tourism. Auckland Airport Chief Executive Officer Adrian Littlewood said,"The QA service we welcomed to Auckland Airport will contribute around NZD $198 million to the New Zealand economy each year."In a statement to QNA, Qatar's non-resident Ambassador to New Zealand HE Nasser bin Hamad al Khalifa said the arrival of QA's first flight to Auckland will further boost commercial, cultural and intellectual exchange between Qatar and New Zealand. The addition of Auckland to the airline's constantly growing network comes on the back of its recent expansion in the region with the launch of new routes to Sydney and Adelaide in 2016. The airline will add to this again in 2017-18 when it plans to include Canberra on its list of gateways in Australasia. Other new destination launches planned by the airline for 2017-18, include Yanbu and Tabuk in Saudi Arabia; Dublin in Ireland; Nice in France; Skopje in Macedonia; Chiang Mai in Thailand; Sarajevo in Bosnia Herzegovina; Libreville, Gabon; Douala, Cameroon; Rio de Janeiro in Brazil; Santiago, Chile; Canberra, Australia; Medan, Indonesia; and Las Vegas, the US.A multiple award-winning airline, Qatar Airways was awarded World's Best Business Class; Best Business Class Airline Lounge and Best Airline Staff Service in the Middle East at the prestigious 2016 World Airline Awards managed by international air transport rating organisation Skytrax. Qatar Airways is a member of the one world global alliance.