Qatar Airways to launch new routes
Airline to service new destinations in Europe and Asia.
June 22, 2010 2:21 by Samuel Potter
Qatar Airways is launching six new routes in Europe and Asia. Announcing the expansion at the airline’s annual commercial conference in the Qatari capital on Monday, Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al-Baker spoke of the carrier’s commitment to develop its route network far and wide from its hub.
The Doha-based airline will phase in the route expansion over a four-month period with daily flights to Phuket – after Bangkok, its second destination in Thailand – kicking off the growth drive on Oct. 11. The new flights will operate via Kuala Lumpur.
Three weeks later, beginning Nov. 1, the airline adds the Vietnamese capital Hanoi to its network with four flights a week via Bangkok. The new route will support existing services to Vietnam’s commercial center and largest city of Ho Chi Minh City, where flights will also be stepped up from four-a-week to daily.
Nov. 24 marks the launch of the carrier’s European expansion drive with thrice-weekly flights to the French Mediterranean city of Nice. Operating via Milan, the Nice operation will strengthen Qatar Airways’ services to France, where it already operates to the capital Paris.
The New Year sees Qatar Airways’ entry into Eastern Europe with the launch of four flights a week to the Romanian capital of Bucharest, starting on Jan. 17. The services continue on to Budapest, capital city of Hungary.
And with five flights a week from Jan. 31, the Belgian capital of Brussels, home of the European Parliament, rounds off a list of destinations for the airline, which has maintained its strategy of opening new routes around the world since launching just 13 years ago.
“Budapest, Bucharest, Brussels, Nice, Hanoi and Phuket represent markets underserved so these are excellent opportunities for us to tap into,” Al-Baker added.
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 84 aircraft, flying to 90 destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and North America.