Doha, QATAR – Qatar Airways is taking advantage of the recently-agreed new bilateral agreement between the governments of Qatar and Germany by introducing a freighter route linking Doha with Munich.
The thrice-weekly service becomes the third cargo route on the award-winning Middle East carrier’s freighter network which also covers Chennai and Amsterdam.
The new flight is being operated non-stop by Qatar Airways’ dedicated freighter, an Airbus A300-600F, to and from the airline’s hub in Doha, capital of the State of Qatar in the Arabian Gulf.
Consignments flown to Doha will have excellent connections on Qatar Airways’ huge network of scheduled passenger flights to other points in the Middle East, Indian sub-continent, Far East and South Africa.
Qatar Airways already operates daily passenger flights between Doha and Munich, but the addition of a dedicated cargo service reinforces the importance of Germany as a freighter market.
Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said: “Qatar Airways is extremely delighted to be spreading its wings in the cargo market, thanks largely due to the successful round of bilateral discussions between the governments of Germany and Qatar.
“We welcome the freedom to operate new services to and from Germany which is excellent news for small and large companies wanting to send goods between Germany and the Middle East and onwards to other points around the world.
“Freight traffic to and from Germany is enjoying unprecedented growth which we are already experiencing through our passenger flights. We are pleased to be able to improve our service and accommodate the needs of our customers.”
Al Baker explained that Qatar Airways planned to introduce more freighters to its fleet of 39 all-Airbus aircraft and create a global network of cargo services.
Added Klaus Eckhardt, Qatar Airways’ Network Manager for Cargo Sales and Marketing: “Munich is ideally located with a huge catchment area. We look forward to working with our cargo agents here in Doha and Munich and, indeed rest of the world, to service their requirements.
Qatar Airways Cargo, a division of Qatar Airways, will be offering its much acclaimed Platinum Service which provides priority loading and guaranteed shipment once booked.
As part of the Qatar/Germany bilateral accord signed in Bonn in February, Qatar Airways has increased the number of passenger flights on the Doha – Frankfurt route from six a week to daily.
In addition, the Doha – Munich – Vienna route, operated five-times-a-week, has been de-linked and replaced by dedicated non-stop services to both European cities.
Qatar Airways currently flies 12 passenger flights a week between Doha and both Frankfurt and Munich, but the bilaterals allow capacity to rise to 21 services spread across five German cities over the next 18 months.
The bilateral talks concluded with Qatar Airways being allowed to operate dedicated freighter flights to any point in Germany from the start of the summer season. Starting off with four cargo flights a week, capacity can increase to seven services from Winter 2006.
Qatar Airways currently operates scheduled flights from Doha to 60 destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Indian subcontinent and the Far East using a fleet of 39 modern all-Airbus aircraft.
New destinations added in recent weeks have included Seychelles, Johannesburg, Cape Town, London Gatwick, and more lately the Japanese commercial capital of Osaka as Qatar Airways’ 60th route. Tunis and Algiers join the network on May 2, followed by Athens on June 15.
Doha-based Qatar Airways will operate a fleet of 110 aircraft by 2013 – almost double the existing size. Qatar Airways has ordered 80 Airbus A350s, 60 Boeing 787s and 32 Boeing 777s, with deliveries of the latter having started in November 2007. The airline is a launch customer of the twin-deck Airbus A380 ‘super jumbos’ with five aircraft on order and scheduled for delivery from 2010. Qatar Airways moves to the New Doha International Airport in 2010, when the first phase of the new facility opens. For more information, visit www.ndiaproject.com
Qatar Airways is one of only six airlines in the world with a Five Star ranking for service and excellence awarded by Skytrax, the independent aviation industry monitoring agency. Skytrax also named Qatar Airways’ cabin crew as Best in the Middle East for the fifth year running in 2007 following a survey of more than 15 million passengers worldwide. For more information, log onto www.qatarairways.com
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