Qatar Airways is now planning to launch its initial public offering (IPO) by 2013, almost a year later than its original plan to list in early 2012.

“We hope that within the next two years we will IPO,” says Akbar al-Baker, chief executive officer of Qatar Airways. Al-Baker has said previously that the airline would only go ahead and launch an IPO following three consecutive years of profit.

The carrier has now been in profit for two years. Qatar Airways carried more than 14 million passengers during the 2009/10 financial year. It expects to carry more than 16 million passengers in the 2010/11 financial year.

The airline is also launching five new destinations in 2011. It began routes to Bucharest, Budapest and Brussels in January and will start flights to Stuttgart on 6 March and flights to Aleppo on 6 April. Aleppo will be Qatar Airways’ 100th destination.

Qatar Airways carried more than 14 million passengers during the 2009-10 financial year

The expansion of the airline will be accommodated by the $14bn New Doha International airport. The first phase of the airport is scheduled to open at the end of 2012. The new airport will include two runways and a 140,000-square-metre airport terminal, with 24 aircraft gates and the capacity to handle 12 million passengers a year (MEED 20:12:10).