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Shiraz, IRAN – Qatar Airways has launched scheduled flights to the southern Iranian city of Shiraz, marking the first of three route start-ups this month.
The airline yesterday began twice-weekly services from its Doha hub to Shahid Dastghaib International Airport in Shiraz. The carrier already serves Iran’s capital Tehran twice-daily with a further five-flights-a-week to the northern city of Mashad.
The latest 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 flights to Mashad. The Shiraz route is operated with an Airbus A320 in a two-class configuration of 12 seats in Business and 132 in Economy.
Over the next few weeks, Qatar Airways’ expansion continues relentlessly, extending its global reach to Europe with the launch of flights to Venice from June 15 and Montreal – its first move into Canada – effective June 29.
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 delighted to have brought a third destination online in Iran. The potential is huge as we look at developing new market opportunities,” he said.
“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 is now made 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 is one of the largest cities in Iran. As the capital city of the Fars Province, Shiraz is the economic centre of southern Iran.
It is known as the city of poets, literature and flowers, with industries focused on cement production, sugar, fertilisers, textiles, wood products, metalwork, rugs and pile carpet weaving. And with over 50 per cent of Iran’s electronics investment based in and around Shiraz, Qatar Airways’ new flights present tremendous business opportunities.
The DOHA – SHIRAZ schedules are:
Depart Doha QR496 at 0205 hrs, arrive Shiraz 0445 hrs
Depart Shiraz QR497 at 0620 hrs, arrive Doha 0600 hrs
ALL TIMES LOCAL
So far this year, Qatar Airways has launched six routes – Budapest, Bucharest, Brussels, Stuttgart, Aleppo and Shiraz – from Doha. Over the next few months it has a further nine new destinations planned from Doha, with many of the cities offering excellent connections to and from Qatar Airways’ newest route of Shiraz.
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 98 aircraft, flying to over 100 destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, North and South America.
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 37 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 CommunicationsTel: +974 4496956, Fax: +974 4620132E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Qatar Airways Group, Corporate Communications Department
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