Bucharest, ROMANIA – Qatar Airways has begun its 2011 European expansion drive with new route Bucharest marking the airline’s entry into the Romanian market.
The launch of flights to Romania’s capital city signals the beginning of another year of rapid growth for the Doha-based carrier, which had a bumper 2010 launching 10 new destinations and inducting 19 new aircraft into its fleet.
Following the touchdown of flight QR943 at Bucharest Henri Coanda International Airport, the aircraft was welcomed by a traditional water salute and met by senior airport officials and local dignitaries. The flight later continued its journey to the Hungarian capital Budapest.
On board the airline’s inaugural flight to Bucharest was Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker, who led a high profile delegation and key media from across the Middle East. The delegation included the Romanian Ambassador to Qatar, H.E. Adrian Macelaru.
“We have spent a great deal of time analysing new routes and business opportunities and I am more than pleased to say that for Qatar Airways entering into this region of Europe was a great decision,” said Al Baker.
“The new routes Bucharest and Budapest will both function as gateways for new markets and will consolidate Doha’s position as a key hub linking East with West.
“International passenger traffic from Asia and the Middle East continues to increase, and creating new connections such as Bucharest via our network hub in Doha, facilitates growth for Qatar Airways and for travel in and out of Romania to these regions.”
General Manager of Bucharest Airports Company, Tudor Jidav, said: “I am very pleased with Qatar Airways’ entry into the Romanian market and I thank the airline for the trust they have put in Henri Coanda Airport. These new flights will allow our region to increase economic and tourism ties with the Middle East and even onwards to Asia Pacific. Romanians will now be several hours closer to Middle Eastern and Asian holiday destinations.”
Bucharest becomes the airline’s 96th route and the first new destination of 2011. Qatar Airways is the only Gulf carrier and Five Star-ranked airline flying to Romania, with the airline’s four weekly non-stop services continuing on to Budapest in neighbouring Hungary – the carrier’s 97th network point.
The route is operated with an Airbus A320 in a two-class configuration. Featuring 12 seats in Business Class and up to 132 seats in Economy, the aircraft offers passengers seatback TV screens giving them the opportunity to watch programmes at their leisure. Regardless of class of travel, passengers can enjoy the next generation interactive onboard entertainment system with a choice of more than 700 audio and video on demand options.
In line with the airline’s Five Star hospitality, Qatar Airways has multi-lingual cabin crew, among them Romanian and Arabic speakers, able to deliver the highest personal attention to passengers on the Doha – Bucharest route.
To please the palate, Qatar Airways offers a mix of Mediterranean and Oriental culinary delights across all classes, which embrace regional specialties and local flavours.
The launch of flights to Bucharest sees Qatar Airways’ European route network extend to 22 destinations. Globally, Qatar Airways has launched 11 new routes since February 2010 – Bengaluru (Bangalore), Copenhagen, Ankara, Tokyo, Barcelona, Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires, Phuket and Hanoi. Qatar Airways ended 2010 with the launch of flights to Nice on the French Riviera.
The airline’s growth in Europe is further reflected through Qatar Airways introducing three new European destinations in early 2011, including Budapest (January 17), Brussels (January 31) and Stuttgart (March 6). On April 6, Qatar Airways launches its 100th destination – the Syrian city of Aleppo.
By 2013, Qatar Airways plans to serve 120 key business and leisure destinations worldwide with a modern fleet of 120 aircraft. Today, the airline’s fleet stands at 94 aircraft, flying to 97 destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, North and South America.
The DOHA – BUCHAREST schedules with effect from 17th January 2011 are:
Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays
Depart Doha QR943 at 0815 hrs, arrive Bucharest 1220 hrs
Depart Bucharest QR944 at 1825 hrs, arrive Doha 2355 hrs
Qatar Airways was recently voted as third best airline in the world following the annual Skytrax 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 4496956, Fax: +974 4420132