Goa, INDIA – Qatar Airways continued its expansion into India with the launch of its second route within two weeks – to the idyllic beach holiday destination of Goa.
The new non-stop Doha – Goa route capitalises on the start of the winter holiday season with the destination particularly popular with holidaymakers from across Europe, from where Qatar Airways has excellent connecting flights.
Flight QR 224 from Doha arrived at Dabolim International Airport in Goa early this morning with a delegation of airline officials onboard led by Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker, who was also joined by a host of international media as the carrier’s guests.
Qatar Airways is the first full-service long-haul scheduled international airline flying to Goa. The carrier is using an Airbus A320 in a two-class configuration of 12 seats in Business and 132 seats in Economy on the route.
Together with the launch of services to the northern Indian city of Amritsar two weeks ago, the Goa route takes Qatar Airways’ capacity across the country to 64 flights a week spread across 10 cities.
The airline now operates daily non-stop services from Doha to Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Trivandrum, Cochin and Kozhikode, together with four-flights-a-week to both Amritsar and Goa.
Speaking later at a press conference in the Goan capital Panaji, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker said: “Qatar Airways is delighted to have extended its reach in this wonderful country of India with the arrival of our first flight to Goa.
“With a huge Goan community living and working in the Gulf, our new route has been long awaited and will help facilitate travel for expatriates between our two regions and beyond. Furthermore, being the start of the winter holiday season, Goa will see a huge influx of holidaymakers from across the world, especially Europe.
“European holidaymakers have traditionally flown with seasonal charter operators to Goa, but with our new scheduled service, we are offering a unique year-round alternative, our award-winning levels of hospitality across our Economy and premium cabins.
“Goa is a route we have total commitment to – it’s new, it’s different and it’s desirable by holidaymakers and the Goan community, both at home and overseas.”
Added Al Baker: “Following the successful launch of our flights to Amritsar earlier this month, I am extremely confident Goa will be just as successful and further strengthen our position in the Indian market where we now operate to 10 cities non-stop from our Doha hub.”
Passengers flying on Qatar Airways from Europe, North America, Africa and the Middle East, have excellent connections to the late evening departures from Doha to Goa.
The two Indian routes are the first wave of destinations being added to Qatar Airways’ global network over the next six months.
Beginning December 6, Qatar Airways makes its first foray into Australia with scheduled non-stop flights from Doha to Melbourne, followed soon after by services to Sydney. Two other points in Europe, yet to be announced, will be launched over the next few months.
Qatar Airways currently operates a modern fleet of 71 aircraft to 84 destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, South Asia, Far East and North America.
Doha – Goa schedules
Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday
Depart Doha QR224 at 2130 hrs, arrive Dabolim Airport in Goa at 0335 hrs next day
Monday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday
Depart Goa QR225 at 0435 hrs, arrive Doha at 0615 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, 24 Airbus A320 Family of aircraft, 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 220 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 Corporate Communications
Tel: +974 4496956, Fax: +974 4620132