Barcelona, SPAIN – Qatar Airways, one of the world’s fastest-growing airlines, achieved yet another milestone yesterday as it launched daily flights between Doha and Barcelona – its 90th destination.
With the touchdown of flight QR067 in Barcelona, where the aircraft was welcomed by a dramatic water salute and met by senior airport officials and local dignitaries, the airline reinforced its position as the only Gulf carrier flying to Spain.
Barcelona is Qatar Airways’ second city served in Spain, after Madrid, and is expected to receive great response from leisure and business travellers alike. The new route underscores a growing commitment by the airline to the Spanish market following earlier capacity increases to the country’s capital city of Madrid last year.
As Spain’s second largest city, Barcelona is a popular tourist centre on the Mediterranean coastline. It is home to one of Europe’s main ports and has a thriving economic base due largely to its importance in finance, commerce, media, entertainment, arts and international trade. According to official tourism data, 52 million tourists visit Spain every year, making it one of the most visited countries in the world.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said that as a result of Spain’s escalating demand for air travel combined with the great popularity of the country among travellers from the Middle East and Asia, the Doha-based airline has steadily built up its presence in Spain.
“The launch of flights to Barcelona – our 90th destination in our ever-growing network is truly a milestone for Qatar Airways,” he said.
“Barcelona is a vibrant city with incredible appeal among leisure and business travellers, and we are confident that our new daily flights will be equally successful as our daily services to Madrid.”
Added Al Baker: “With 14 flights a week now operating to Spain, this reflects the high demand we have been experiencing in and out of the region, helped by increased economic ties between the Middle East and the Iberian Peninsula.”
In time for the summer holiday period, Qatar Airways’ newest destination is set to be a hot spot for everyone looking for a great place to spend their vacation.
Barcelona is the 2,000 year old capital of the Catalunyan region, an excellent year-round destination, offering art, unique architecture, nightlife, sophisticated shopping and gastronomical delights which cater to travellers of all ages and budgets.
The city has a population of over three million people. Due to its quaint Old Town centre and plenty of sightseeing attractions in close proximity of each other, visitors can easily explore Barcelona on foot.
Barcelona is also an ideal gateway city to further discover the magic of Spain such as the country’s southern region of Andalucia. Rich in Moorish history and architecture including the mythical Alhambra Palace and being the birthplace of the colourful Flamenco dance, the tourism Spain has to offer is one of a kind and determined to attract many travellers from the Middle East, South Asia and Asia-Pacific.
The city is the fifth new destination launched by Qatar Airways so far during 2010. Over the past six months, the carrier has introduced services to Bengaluru (Bangalore), Copenhagen, Ankara and Tokyo.
Beginning June 24, Qatar Airways will serve the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo and the Argentine capital Buenos Aires with daily scheduled flights direct from Doha. The addition of South America will ensure Qatar Airways becomes a truly global airline – a remarkable feat in just 13 years since its launch.
Qatar Airways’ renowned service has received numerous international accolades for its high service standards and great hospitality. The independent aviation industry audit Skytrax recently voted Qatar Airways as the World’s 3rd Best Airline at the annual Skytrax Airline Awards 2010 and named Qatar Airways as Best Airline in the Middle East for the fifth consecutive year.
Passengers flying First Class or Business Class through Doha onto connecting cities with Qatar Airways will be able to transit through the airline’s exclusive Premium Terminal, where they can unwind and relax enjoying creature comforts of the facilities, including fine dining, spa treatments and duty free shopping.
Qatar Airways currently operates a modern fleet of 83 aircraft to 90 key business and leisure destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and North America.
On the Doha – Barcelona route, Qatar Airways operates an Airbus A319 in a two-class configuration of 8 seats in Business Class and 102 in Economy.
The Doha – Barcelona flight schedules are (all times local):
Depart Doha International Airport
QR067 MON, WED, FRI, SUN at 0755 hrs, arrive Barcelona at 1415 hrs
QR065 TUES, THURS, SAT at 0120 hrs, arrive in Barcelona at 0740 hrs
Depart Barcelona International Airport
QR068 MON, WED, FRI, SUN at 1600 hrs, arrive Doha at 2325 hrs
QR066 TUES, THURS, SAT at 1140 hrs, arrive Doha at 1905 hrs
Qatar Airways has orders for 80 Airbus A350s, 60 Boeing 787s and 32 Boeing 777s, with deliveries of the latter having started in November 2007. The airline 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.qatarairways.com and www.ndiaproject.com
Qatar Airways Corporate Communications
Tel: +974 4496956, Fax: +974 4620132