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Doha, QATAR – Qatar Airways today announced it was bringing forward the launch dates of two new Indian routes – Goa and Amritsar – in time for the busy winter holiday season.
Scheduled flights to the northern Indian city of Amritsar will be launched on October 11 ahead of Diwali, the religious festival of lights.
Two weeks later, beginning October 25, the idyllic beach destination of Goa will be added to Qatar Airways’ growing route network in India in preparation for the inbound winter holiday traffic.
Qatar Airways will be the first full-service scheduled international airline flying to Goa – a popular retreat, particularly among European holidaymakers.
Both routes will be operated four-times-per-week non-stop from the airline’s hub in Doha, capital of the State of Qatar. The two-class Airbus A320s to be used on the route are configured with 12 seats in Business and 132 seats in Economy.
Passengers flying on Qatar Airways from Europe, North America, Africa and the Middle East, will have excellent connections to the late evening departures from Doha to both Goa and Amritsar.
Qatar Airways currently operates 56 flights a week between Doha and India – daily non-stop services to Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Trivandrum, Cochin and Kozhikode. The addition of Amritsar and Goa will take Qatar Airways’ Indian capacity up to 64 flights a week.
In March, Qatar Airways unveiled plans to widen its Indian route network by operating the two new routes at the end of 2009.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said: “When we made the route expansion announcement during the ITB Berlin travel show in March, news spread very quickly with a lot of excitement in the market about these highly underserved destinations by international airlines.
“We have since been inundated with calls from the public seeking more information about the launch dates. We are now pleased to confirm October 11 and 25 as the launch times giving Qatar Airways significantly more capacity to India.
“India is by far Qatar Airways’ largest single market in terms of destinations served, and we are extremely pleased to be expanding our wings further into the country.”
Added Al Baker: “Our new flights will cater to a highly underserved market, and we are delighted to be able to connect the world with the newest cities in our international network.
“There is a huge North Indian community living and working in key markets of the Gulf, United Kingdom, Africa, and North America, who will now have an additional gateway to North India with the launch of our flights to Amritsar.
“Amritsar, in the heart of Punjab State, is home to the Golden Temple – the spiritual and cultural centre of the Sikh religion. By bringing forward the launch date, we are able to meet the huge demand anticipated in time for the festive Diwali holidays celebrated by devotees of many religions during October.
“Similarly, the Goan community is well travelled with a huge number of people living and working around the world, particularly the Gulf, so our convenient flights would be a welcome relief for those travelling back home.”
The two Indian routes will be the first wave of destinations added to Qatar Airways’ route network over a six-month period, including the Australian cities of Melbourne and Sydney, and two further cities in Europe.
Qatar Airways currently operates a modern fleet of 68 Airbus and Boeing aircraft to 84 destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, South Asia, Far East and North America.
Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays, Sundays
Depart Doha QR298 at 2140 hrs, arrive Amritsar at 0355 hrs
Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Saturdays
Depart Amritsar QR299 at 0455 hrs, arrive Doha at 0615 hrs
Doha – Goa schedules, effective 25 October 2009
Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays
Depart Doha QR224 at 2125 hrs, arrive Goa at 0330 hrs
Mondays, Thursdays, Fridays, Sundays
Depart Goa QR225 at 0430 hrs, arrive Doha at 0610 hrs
Qatar Airways’ Economy Class has been voted Best in the World in the annual Skytrax passenger survey, in which more than 16 million travellers were polled. Ranked Five Star for service and excellence by Skytrax, the independent aviation industry monitoring agency also voted Qatar Airways’ cabin crew Best in the Middle East for the seventh year running in 2009 and Best Airline in the Middle East for the fourth consecutive year. For more information, log onto www.qatarairways.com
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 has aircraft orders for more than 200 jets worth over US$40 billion and is one of the customers of the twin-deck Airbus A380 ‘super jumbos’ with five on order and scheduled for delivery from 2012, by which time the New Doha International Airport would have opened. For more information, visit www.ndiaproject.com
Qatar Airways Group, Corporate Communications Department
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