CHENGDU, China – Today Qatar Airways further expanded its operations in China with the launch of scheduled flights to Chengdu, the airline’s sixth destination to China.
Flight QR884 arrived at Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport to an impressive water salute, following its non-stop journey from the airline’s operational hub in Doha, capital of the State of Qatar. All passengers and operating crew of the maiden flight received a warm welcome from the airport officials.
The new thrice weekly flights now join Qatar Airways’ five other Chinese gateways - Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Chongqing – for a total of 41 flights per week.
Qatar Airways’ maiden flight to Chengdu receives a warm welcome at the city's international airport earlier today
“Qatar Airways saw an immense potential to operate in Chengdu, which is set to play a critical role in the next wave of economic development in Western China,” said Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer, Akbar Al Baker.
“It’s hardly a surprise, therefore, that nearly half of the world’s Fortune 500 companies have opened offices in the city, and that Chengdu is aiming to become China’s fastest growing aviation hub.”
The new Chengdu flights represent the significance of China’s growing economy in the worldwide context. Significant industries in Chengdu include: electronics and information; machinery, particularly automotive and aerospace parts; medicine; food and tobacco processing; metallurgy; and petroleum.
“Qatar Airways is delighted to launch our latest gateway in China,” continued Al Baker. “The opening of Chengdu shows our commitment to a vibrant and flourishing economy in the country’s next key economic and transportation hub. We remember fondly in 2011 when we launched Chongqing, offering the first non-stop route from Western China to the Middle East. We are extremely honoured to have another opportunity to contribute to this thriving region yet again.”
Chengdu becomes the 130th destination in the Qatar Airways global network, and now adds to over 15% of the airline’s routes which fly across Asia.
The Chengdu route is operated with an Airbus A330 in a two-class configuration of up to 248 seats in Economy and 36 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 900 audio and video on demand options.
Added Al Baker: “2013 has been a fantastic year for Qatar Airways and today we expand to eight new routes since this January. Over the next few years, we will increase our global footprint, providing greater travel options for business and leisure passengers, taking them to key business markets, holiday hotspots and underserved regions around the world.”
Flight schedules, between Chengdu and Doha, are as follows:
DOHA – CHENGDU: 3-times-a-week, effective September 3, 2013
Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays
QR884 Depart Doha at 0200 hrs Arrive Chengdu at 1430 hrs
CHENGDU– DOHA: 3-times-a-week, effective September 3, 2013
Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays
QR885 Depart Chengdu at 0100 hrs Arrive Doha at 0350 hrs
Qatar Airways has seen rapid growth in just 16 years of operations, currently flying a modern fleet of 129 aircraft to 130 key business and leisure destinations worldwide.
Qatar Airways has so far launched eight destinations this year – Gassim (Saudi Arabia), Najaf (Iraq), Phnom Penh (Cambodia), Chicago (USA), Salalah (Oman), Basra (Iraq), Sulaymaniyah (Iraq) and Chengdu, China.
Over the next few months, the network will expand with the addition of further destinations – Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (September 18), Ta’if, Saudi Arabia (October 2), Clark International Airport, Philippines (October 27) and Philadelphia, USA (April 2, 2014).
Notes to Editors:
Qatar Airways was presented with three honours at the annual Skytrax 2013 World Airline Awards held during the Paris Air Show at Le Bourget, France in June. The airline was awarded World’s Best Business Class, World’s Best Business Class Lounge and, for the second consecutive year, Best Airline Staff Service in the Middle East. The airline has also been named Best Airline in the Middle East for the seventh year in a row, and its Premium Terminal at Doha International Airport named Best Premium Service Airport for the third consecutive year in 2013. Qatar Airways has also twice been recipient of the prestigious Skytrax Airline of the Year Award in 2011 and 2012.
Skytrax is the only global independent passenger survey monitoring airline standards and is considered the ultimate benchmark for excellence in the airline industry.
Qatar Airways currently has orders worth over US$50 billion for more than 250 aircraft, including Boeing 787s, 777s, Airbus A350s, A380s and A320 family of aircraft. Qatar Airways will become the first of the major Gulf carriers to join a global alliance having been invited into the oneworld group. For more information, visit www.qatarairways.com