Qatar Airways is planning to launch an initial public offering (IPO) in early 2012.

The airline’s chief executive Akbar al-Baker says that it would launch the IPO following three consecutive years of profit. However, it is not yet clear how what percentage of the airline will be offered.

“In the last financial year, we realised a net profit. This year also we are heading towards a profit. We are hopeful of deriving a net profit in the next financial year as well,” says Al-Baker.

Qatar Airways has been expanding in 2010 with $621m of aircraft orders made during the UK’s Farnborough Airshow. The first phase of the $14bn New Doha International airport is expected to open in the second half of 2011, following a two-year delay. The new airport includes two runways and a 140,000-square-metre airport terminal, with 24 aircraft gates and the capacity to handle 12 million passengers a year. A future second phase will double the airport’s capacity to 24 million passengers by 2050.