"With the local tourism industry receiving 50 million visitors annually and Chicago being the headquarters of some of the world's biggest corporates, including Boeing, there are many business opportunities linking our two cities and regions.
"Qatar Airways today spreads its reach in North America and we are proud to say that our commitments here will continue," added Al Baker.
City of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel sent a congratulatory message to Qatar Airways, commenting: " Chicago is pleased to welcome Qatar Airways' world-class service to our global gateway, O'Hare International Airport. This new international air service creates additional economic opportunities, increases tourism to our city and strengthens Chicago's cultural and business connection to the world.
"This service will generate more than $200 million in annual economic impact and will connect passengers from Chicago to destinations across India, Africa, the Middle East and Asia."Aside from Chicago, New York, Washington DC and Houston, Qatar Airways' North American operations covers thrice-weekly services to Montreal. Al Baker explained that Chicago marked yet another significant milestone for the airline which is expanding its global network at a remarkable pace. Qatar Airways' Doha – Chicago route is being operated with a Boeing 777-300 Extended Range aircraft in a two-class configuration of 293 seats in Economy Class and 42 in Business Class. The aircraft features seatback TV screens providing all passengers in both cabins with the next generation interactive onboard entertainment system – a choice of more than 1,000 audio and video-on-demand options.