LONDON — Qatar Airways hopes to hit the 250 destination mark by 2022, ramping up its passenger business to 220 worldwide destinations, and its cargo network to further 30.

In only four years, the Doha-based giant plans to increase its network by a whopping 86 destinations, representing a 52% increase from its current 162.

The airline’s CEO, Akbar Al Baker, confirmed that Qatar Airways “will continue its march ahead.”

“We will continue expanding and continue purchasing new airplanes to fulfill our need for network expansion,” announced the CEO.

Growth Before World Cup

According to Al Baker, his growth ambitions are not only for Qatar Airways but also to the airlines that the Qatari flag carrier has invested in.

Al Baker said that the future airplanes are “not only for us” but for “our partners in which we have invested to also keep on expanding the network and providing them with the capacity they require.”

At the moment, Qatar Airways is empowering its most recent investment, Air Italy, with 20 Boeing 737 MAX 8s and 30 787-8 Dreamliners.

READ MORE: Qatar Airways Upgrades Edinburgh With Airbus A350 Service

The growth announcement comes with the unveiling of a specially-branded Boeing 777 aircraft painted in a FIFA World Cup’s livery, promoting the current edition of the competition that’s being held in Russia.

“We are tremendously excited to celebrate our passengers’ love for football by bringing this unique, one-of-a-kind aircraft to Moscow.”

Qatar Airways is an official sponsor of the FIFA World Cup and will be the primary sponsor of the upcoming edition, which will be held in Qatar in 2022.

READ MORE: Qatar Blockade Case May Move To International Court Of Justice

“As Official Partner and Official Airline of FIFA, we are proud to be able to unite football fans from around the world in Russia, helping them to experience the magic of the FIFA World Cup,” Al Baker said.

Current Qatar Airways Fleet

Today, Qatar Airways boasts a strong fleet of 218 planes, of which 167 are Airbus A330, A350, A380, Boeing 777, and 787 Dreamliner.

READ MORE: Qatar Airways Inaugurates Bodrum

To achieve the desired growth to 250 destinations, this fleet will continue to grow over the next four years.

Through the current Qatar Airways sponsorships and partnerships around the globe, the carrier is firmly focused on placing its product offerings as top-tier, while generating awareness of its brand, which continues to gain value every day.

READ MORE: Qatar’s Launch to Cardiff; Keynote with H.E Mr. Akbar Al Baker & Co.

With the World Cup knocking on the airline’s doorstep in the next four years, the airline will continue developing its connecting business at Doha’s new Hamad International Airport to perfect the way the airline’s business runs.

With the political blockade still ongoing, the fact that Al Baker wants this expansion to happen means that the barrier isn’t doing the damage some analysts expected.