Doha, QATAR – Qatar Airways today announced plans to launch flights to the southern Iranian city of Shiraz. The airline will commence twice-weekly flights from its Doha hub to Shiraz International Airport on June 5.
Shiraz will become the airline’s 101st global destination and third route to Iran. The carrier already operates double daily services to the capital city of Tehran and five-flights-a-week to Mashad in northern Iran.
News of the new route further enhances Qatar Airways’ commitment to Iran, where it first began operating services to the country in 2004 with the launch of the Tehran route, followed a year later by Mashad.
The new services will be operated with the airline’s Airbus A320 aircraft, which features 12 seats in Business Class and 132 in Economy.
Traffic for the new route is expected to come from around the Gulf region as well as Europe and North America.
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said that the launch of flights to Shiraz supported the company’s business plan of operating to key cities around the world that the airline had identified as underserved.
“Qatar Airways is pleased to be bringing its third route to Iran online in early June. Iran is still largely underserved by international carriers and Shiraz in particular presents Qatar Airways with an opportunity to target new business,” he said.
“The potential is significant and we are looking forward to developing our market prospects with the launch of these new flights.”
“Iranian expatriates number between four and five million people, with many living in Europe and North America. We have good connections from these continents to Shiraz through our Doha hub, so facilitating travel for this expatriate community would soon be much easier.
“As the route to Shiraz develops, we will also look to add frequency and capacity to improve connectivity even further,” added Al Baker.
Shiraz is home to over 1.5 million people and one of the largest cities in Iran. As the capital city of the Fars Province, Shiraz is the economic centre of southern Iran. Outbound traffic from the city will significantly contribute to Qatar Airways’ new flight.
Globally, Qatar Airways has launched 13 new routes since February 2010 – Bengaluru (Bangalore), Copenhagen, Ankara, Tokyo, Barcelona, Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, Phuket, Hanoi, Nice, Budapest, Bucharest and Brussels. Two additional destinations will be launched over the next few weeks – Stuttgart from March 6 and the Syrian city of Aleppo from April 6, with the latter becoming the airline’s milestone 100th destination. On 15 June Qatar Airways will start a daily non-stop service to Venice, the airline’s third destination in Italy.
By 2013, Qatar Airways plans to serve over 120 key business and leisure destinations worldwide with a modern fleet of more than 120 aircraft. Today, the airline’s fleet stands at 94 aircraft, flying to 98 destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, North and South America.
The DOHA – SHIRAZ schedules with effect from 5th June 2011 are:
Fridays and Sundays
Depart Doha QR496 at 0205 hrs, arrive Shiraz 0405 hrs
Depart Shiraz QR497 at 0520 hrs, arrive Doha 0600 hrs
ALL TIMES LOCAL
Qatar Airways has been voted as third best airline in the world following the annual Skytrax 2010 survey of 18 million international passengers. In the survey, the airline was also voted as having the best Business Class service and catering in the world, as well as being honoured as the Best Airline in The Middle East for the fifth consecutive year.
Qatar Airways also became the first airline to receive the Staff Service Excellence Award for the Middle East. The new award replaces the Best Cabin Staff in the Middle East category, which Qatar Airways has won for the past seven years. The expanded category now includes airline staff at all passenger touch points, including onboard, reservations, check-in and airport personnel.
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.
Qatar Airways Corporate Communications
Tel: +974 44496956, Fax: +974 44620132