Tokyo, JAPAN – Qatar Airways has announced plans to increase frequency on its Doha – Osaka route this winter with an additional flight ahead of the biggest ever sporting event taking place in the State of Qatar.
With the 15th Asian Games taking place in Doha between December 1 – 15, the Doha-based airline, which is the Official Airline of the Games, is increasing the number of flights on the Osaka route from five to six services a week.
The increase is effective from the beginning of the winter schedules, which begins from October 29. The new schedule will provide passengers from Japan a wider choice of flights to and from Doha, to watch the Games or connect onto a network of onward services across Europe, Middle East, Africa and the Indian subcontinent.
Qatar Airways announced the additional flight at the Japan Association of Travel Agents’ (JATA) annual show held at the Tokyo Big Sight International Exhibition Centre in the Japanese capital. The airline participated at the three-day event for the third year running with a dedicated exhibition stand.
News of the Osaka expansion comes during several weeks of exciting developments at Qatar Airways with the airline unveiling its brand new livery and introducing the Airbus A340-600 into its fleet to become the launch customer of the High Gross Weight version of the aircraft – the world’s longest passenger jet.
With a unique onboard First Class lounge and Business Class stand-up bar on the A340-600, Qatar Airways is looking to deploy the aircraft on the Osaka route in the future. During the next few weeks, Qatar Airways will also be opening the world’s first passenger terminal dedicated to First and Business Class travelers at Doha International Airport.
The Osaka route is currently operated with the modern Airbus A330-200 in a three-class configuration. The First Class cabin has 12 seats that convert to 180 degree flat beds, Business Class offers 18 seats that recline 160 degrees, while Economy features 208 seats.
Osaka is one of 12 Far East destinations served by Qatar Airways – the others being Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Seoul, Manila, Cebu, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Yangon and Jakarta.
Qatar Airways currently operates scheduled flights from its hub in Doha, capital of the State of Qatar, to 70 online destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Indian subcontinent and the Far East with a young fleet of 49 all-Airbus aircraft.
From January 9 next year, Qatar Airways adds Dar Es Salaam to its growing network with four flights a week between Doha and the Tanzanian capital.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said the expansion of flights to and from Japan was just another step towards the airline aiming to offer passengers on the Osaka route with a daily service in the future.
“Qatar Airways launched flights to Osaka in March last year and has enjoyed a fantastic response from customers since the first day of operations,” he said.
“We started with four flights a week and now we will be up to six services with plans to increase frequency even further. Japan is a vitally important market for any airline and Qatar Airways is extremely delighted with the success of its operations into this key business and leisure destination.
“Our passengers travelling to and from Osaka can also benefit from our codeshare services on Japanese domestic routes with our partner All Nippon Airways (ANA) beyond Osaka to cities such as Tokyo Haneda, Fukuoka and Sapporo, which gives the travelling public an even wider choice of destinations to fly to.”
Added Al Baker: “As Official Airline of the forthcoming Asian Games in Doha, we are looking forward to welcoming athletes, officials and spectators from across Japan for this sporting spectacle that promises to be the best-ever Games.
“Qatar Airways is preparing for this huge event by putting on extra flights from across Asia to Doha before and during the Games with special holiday packages for visitors to enjoy 15 days of sporting entertainment.
“With Japan sending one of the largest contingents of athletes to the Games, Qatar Airways looks forward to welcoming well-wishers from across Japan to cheer on their sporting stars of today and tomorrow.”
Qatar Airways currently operates seven of its long-haul Airbus A330 aircraft in three distinct colour schemes depicting the 15th Asian Games. Three aircraft are painted in the distinct yellow and gold Asian Games colour scheme across the fuselage; three in blue with the Games mascot, ‘Orry the Oryx’ on the tail; and one in distinct red featuring an athlete and cyclist on the tail.
Qatar Airways’ Osaka route is operated with an Airbus A330-200 featuring the airline’s award-winning Audio Video On Demand system, allowing passengers in all three classes to choose from a list of more than 40 international movies, as well as short programmes to view on their individual TV screens.
Passengers can also listen to an extensive list of 250 CDs and 16 audio channels. In addition, there is a choice of 12 video games to play through the interactive TV screens.
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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