Qatar Airways’ Group Chief Executive, Akbar Al Baker has announced a significant network expansion of 14 new destinations at a capacity-crowd press conference on the opening day of ITB Berlin – the world’s largest international travel fair on March.
Spread across four continents, the new routes will further expand the reach of the airline’s network, and will include the world’s longest flight, between Doha and Auckland, New Zealand.
Speaking on the occasion Al Baker said, “Qatar Airways prides itself on being a global connector, and most importantly, providing seamless and convenient connections for our customers, so that we remain their airline of choice. These new destinations are where our customers want to go, and where we see the most opportunity to provide a best-in-class experience at great value. We look forward to growing our network and welcoming new passengers to Qatar Airways.”
Five new European destinations for Qatar Airways include:
The Italian city of Pisa, starting on August 2 with daily non-stop A320-family service from Doha, will be the fourth Italian destination for Qatar Airways, joining Venice, Rome and Milan.
Service to Sarajevo (Bosnia) will start on September 7, with three flights per week on A320-family aircraft.
Daily non-stop flights from Doha to Helsinki (Finland) will start on October 10, offering new connections between oneworld hubs. Three times weekly service between Doha and Skopje (Macedonia) in November. Both new cities will be served with A320-family aircraft.
Qatar Airways will return to Nice (France) by summer 2017, with five flights per week with wide-body aircraft.
It will also begin services to six new destinations in Africa:
Marrakech (Morocco) will begin in July, three times per week, from Doha on the airline’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.
Four flights per week between Doha and Windhoek (Namibia) will begin on September 28.
Daily scheduled service to the Seychelles will resume on 12 December.
In January, Qatar Airways will offer three flights per week from Doha to Douala (Cameroon) and Libreville (Gabon) utilising one aircraft. Non-stop service, three times weekly from Doha to Lusaka (Zambia) will begin by summer 2017.
New Qatar Airways destinations in South West Pacific / Southeast Asia are:
Daily service to Auckland – Qatar Airways’ first route to New Zealand, and what will be the world’s longest flight – will begin on 3 December. Qatar Airways will use the Boeing 777 aircraft for this route.
Just in time for the winter break, Qatar Airways will begin four flights per week to Krabi (Thailand) on December 6 and three flights per week to Chiang Mai (Thailand) also in December, enhancing overall connectivity to Thailand through four gateways. Qatar Airways currently flies to Bangkok and Phuket.
The introduction of the new destinations comes two years after the opening of Qatar Airways’ hub, Hamad International Airport. The airport, one of the most technologically advanced modern airports in the world, serves more than 28 million passengers annually – and is set to grow up to 50 million in 2018.
The addition of new routes has also consistently taken place in parallel with the growth plans of the Qatar Airways fleet. As the global launch customer of the Airbus A350 and the Middle East launch customer of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, introducing next-generation aircraft is of key importance to the overall growth strategy. On average the airline receives a new aircraft once every 10 days, and the average age of the fleet is less than four years.
Qatar Airways recently started service to Los Angeles, USA on January 1, Ras Al Khaimah, UAE on February 2 and Sydney on March 1. The airline will begin service to Boston, USA from March 16 ; Birmingham, UK on March 30; Adelaide, Australia from May 2; Yerevan, Armenia from May 15 and Atlanta, USA from June 1.