ITB Berlin, GERMANY - Qatar Airways today announced a raft of new destinations being launched over the next few months – including the airline's first move into the US market – and increased frequency on existing routes.
In March 2007 alone, the airline will have four exciting destinations added to Qatar Airways' family of routes operated out of its operational hub of Doha, capital of the State of Qatar.
Scheduled flights to Chennai (formerly Madras), Bali and Ho Chi Minh City will begin towards the end of March. They follow the successful launch of services to Nigeria's commercial capital of Lagos on March 1.
And from Summer 2007, Qatar Airways will operate flights to New York, Washington and Geneva, with Stockholm following later this year.
Speaking at a press conference on the first day of ITB Berlin – the world's biggest travel fair in the German capital today – Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said the airline was gearing up for an exciting few months of route launches and increased frequencies on existing services.
2007 is an exciting year for Qatar Airways, celebrating 10 years since our relaunch and we look forward to welcoming passengers on our brand new routes and increased services to provide them with greater choice. Our renowned award-winning Five Star service is really spreading to exciting new destinations around the world.
"Our first move into the US market this summer represents an important step in the history of Qatar Airways as we launch not one, but two destinations in North America. The addition of New York and Washington will provide Qatar Airways with access to two key cities and a gateway to the rest of the United States."
Qatar Airways' new routes for 2007: -
- Chennai DAILY from March 24
- Bali 4 flights a week from March 24
- Ho Chi Minh City 4 flights a week from March 25
- Geneva 4 flights a week from June 28
- New York 4 flights a week from June 28
- Washington DAILY from Summer 2007
- Stockholm 4 flights a week from November 2007
Qatar Airways increases frequency on the following routes from March 25, the start of the Summer 2007 flying season:
- Muscat DOUBLE DAILY (up from 11 flights a week)
- Abu Dhabi 42 flights a week (up from 35 flights a week)
- Kuwait 28 flights a week (up from 25 flights a week)
- Algiers 4 flights a week non-stop (previously linked with Tunis)
- Tunis 4 flights a week non-stop (previously linked with Algiers)
- Casablanca DAILY (up from 6 flights a week)
- Osaka DAILY (up from 6 flights a week)
- Tehran 10 flights a week (up from 7 flights a week)
- Tripoli 5 flights a week (up from 4 flights a week)
- Vienna DAILY (up from 6 flights a week)
- Athens DAILY (up from 6 flights a week)
- Mumbai DAILY using upgraded aircraft to new wide-body A330s
- Cochin DAILY (up from 5 flights a week)
- Hyderabad DAILY (up from 4 flights a week)
- Dar es Salaam DAILY (up from 4 flights a week)
- Mashad 3 flights a week (up from 2 flights a week)
Moscow DAILY (up from 5 flights a week)
Al Baker said that Qatar Airways was continuing its year-on-year aggressive expansion plans averaging 35 per cent annually. The airline expects to have carried 8 million passengers over the current 12-month financial year, which ends on March 31.
"This is phenomenal growth for a young and vibrant airline and we are well on target to achieving our ultimate goal of becoming the best airline in the world. It is highly achievable and we look forward to becoming the airline of choice for passengers anywhere in the world.
"By expanding our operations, this reinforces Qatar Airways' strategy of serving key business and leisure cities around the world."
Qatar Airways currently operates a modern fleet of 53 all-Airbus aircraft to 72 destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Far East and the Indian subcontinent.
On the Germany - Qatar route, Qatar Airways operates 21 flights a week. The Frankfurt route is served 10-times-a-week, Berlin 4-times-a-week and Munich daily. Al Baker explained that the airline was keen to increase frequency between the two countries and launch further destinations in Germany
With a growing international network, Al Baker added that more travellers would have an opportunity to use Qatar Airways' brand new Premium Terminal at Doha International Airport, exclusively for departing First and Business Class passengers.
The Premium Terminal features facilities such as a spa, jacuzzi, duty free, business centre and fine dining restaurants. Built in just nine months, the US$90 million terminal is the world's first commercial passenger building dedicated to First and Business Class passengers.
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
Qatar Airways Corporate Communications
Tel: +974 4496956, Fax: +974 4620132