Doha, QATAR – Qatar Airways is to increase capacity on the Copenhagen and Barcelona routes, effective March 27 – the start of the Northern Summer 2011 flying schedules.
With flights to the Danish capital increasing to daily and a wide body Airbus A330 being deployed to the Mediterranean port city, the capacity rise marks a sharp increase on the two routes launched within the past nine months.
The non-stop Doha – Copenhagen route, currently served six-times-a-week, will rise to daily with the introduction of one extra flight operating every Thursday. Services to Copenhagen were launched in March 2010.
From four-flights-a-week at the time of launch using narrow body Airbus A319 aircraft, the route has been upgraded in recent months with additional frequency and the much bigger A330.
The Doha – Barcelona route, launched only in June last year, is currently operated with a narrow-body Airbus A319 aircraft. The introduction of an A330, will more than double seat capacity on each of the daily Barcelona flights.
The capacity hikes come at a time when Qatar Airways is concentrating much of its international expansion across Europe during the first quarter of 2011.
Over the next three months, the Doha-based airline will begin flights to the Romanian capital Bucharest (January 17); the capital city of Hungary, Budapest (January 17); Belgium’s capital Brussels (January 31); and the German car manufacturing centre of Stuttgart (March 6).
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said: “These capacity increases reflect the importance we place on offering passengers greater choice. We build capacity based on market conditions and the availability of aircraft, and today’s announcement shows we are positive about Copenhagen and Barcelona allowing us to deploy additional aircraft on these routes.
“Copenhagen has been a great success story. In less than a year, we will have more than doubled capacity on the route from a narrow body to wide body aircraft, to soon becoming daily operations.
“I am delighted to say we remain the only Gulf carrier flying to Scandinavia with both Copenhagen and Stockholm in our network attracting significant connecting business from Norway, Finland and the Baltic States onto our dedicated Danish and Swedish flights.”
Added Al Baker: “Similarly, our Barcelona route has by far exceeded our expectations. We are extremely delighted to offer our passengers to and from Spain with more travel options and more capacity into this key European market.
“On New Year’s Day we introduced our flagship Boeing 777 on the daily Doha – Madrid and, now with the A330 operating our Barcelona services, our double daily, expanded Spanish operation will by far be the biggest of any Gulf carrier serving Spain.”
Qatar Airways offers excellent connections over its Doha hub to key destinations across the Middle East and Asia Pacific with Dubai, Muscat, Mumbai, Goa, Bangkok, Hong Kong Singapore, Ho Chi Minh City, Phuket, Tokyo and Melbourne among the most popular outbound destinations from both Copenhagen and Barcelona.
The airline operates two-class Airbus A330s on both the Copenhagen and Barcelona routes with up to 30 seats in Business Class and up to 275 seats in Economy with each seat across both cabins featuring an interactive entertainment system offering a multitude of audio and visual entertainment options.
Qatar Airways currently operates a modern fleet of 94 aircraft from its Doha hub to 95 cities across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, North and South America.
The Syrian city of Aleppo will be the airline’s 100th destination, which will launch on April 6.
The airline is continuing its aggressive expansion plan set out at its 1997 launch. It plans to serve 120 key business and leisure destinations worldwide with a fleet of 120 aircraft by 2013.
Qatar Airways has ordered 80 Airbus A350s, 24 Airbus A320 Family aircraft, 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 is scheduled to open.
At the 2010 Skytrax World Airline Awards, Qatar Airways was awarded World’s Best Business Class, Best Airline in the Middle East for the fifth consecutive year, World’s Best Business Class Catering, and the Staff Service Excellence Award for the Middle East. The awards are compiled from results of the annual Skytrax passenger survey in which almost 18 million travellers were polled over a 10-month period. For more information, log onto www.qatarairways.com.
Qatar Airways Corporate Communications
Tel: +974 44496956, Fax: +974 44620132