Qatar Airways to add six new destinations
Qatar Airways is further strengthening its global network by adding six new destinations – four in Europe and two in Asia between October and January, 2011.
The new routes are Budapest, Bucharest, Brussels and Nice (Europe) and Phuket and Hanoi (Asia).
The national carrier will phase in the route expansion over a four-month period with daily flights to Phuket (Thailand) from October 11. Qatar Airways also flies to Bangkok in Thailand. The Phuket flights will operate via Kuala Lumpur.
Three weeks later, Qatar Airways adds the Vietnamese capital Hanoi to its network with four flights a week via Bangkok. The new route (beginning November 1) will support existing services to Vietnam’s commercial centre and largest city of Ho Chi Minh City, where flights will also be stepped up from four-a-week to daily.
November 24 marks the launch of the carrier’s European expansion drive with thrice-weekly flights to the French Mediterranean city of Nice. Operating via Milan, the Nice operation will strengthen Qatar Airways’ services to France, where it already operates to the capital Paris.
The New Year sees Qatar Airways’ entry into Eastern Europe with the launch of four flights a week to the Romanian capital of Bucharest, from January 17. The services continue on to Budapest, capital city of Hungary.
Brussels, home to the European Parliament, will be connected by Qatar Airways from January 31. The national carrier will operate five flights a week to the Belgian capital.
Announcing the expansion at the airline’s annual commercial conference in Doha yesterday, Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar al-Baker reiterated the national carrier’s commitment to develop its route network far and wide from its hub.
“Qatar Airways’ track record to grow remains strong and solid. The airline is well positioned globally, focusing on a long term strategy that is forward thinking.
“Budapest, Bucharest, Brussels, Nice, Hanoi and Phuket represent markets underserved; so these are excellent opportunities for us to tap into.
“We spend a lot of time diligently analysing new route opportunities. I am pleased to say the routes being announced today will not only open up new markets, but also strengthen our network strategy over our Doha hub.
“Today’s route network and fleet size will increase sharply over the next few years and all of us within Qatar Airways rise to the challenge by continuing to give our customers the Five Star level of service they fully deserve.”
By 2013, Qatar Airways plans to serve some 120 key business and leisure destinations worldwide with a modern fleet of 120 aircraft. Today, the airline’s fleet stands at 84 aircraft, flying to 90 destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and North America.
From June 24 Qatar Airways is linking South America with the launch of flights to the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo and Argentine capital Buenos Aires.
South America represents the latest destination for Qatar Airways this year. Over the past six months, the carrier has introduced flights to Bangalore, Copenhagen, Ankara, Tokyo and Barcelona.