DALLAS — Qatar Airways (QR), the second largest airline based in the Middle East, announced a large route network expansion at the ITB Tourism Fair in Berlin. This announcement involves the launch of 7 new routes, the resumption of 11 former connections, and the increase of frequencies at 35 different destinations worldwide.
Akbar Al Baker, CEO of Qatar Airways, stated, “Qatar Airways is dedicated to enriching the global community which it serves. As the World’s Best Airline, we are excited to offer more ways of bringing the world together, increasing connectivity, and bridging gaps within the travel industry. As we expand our fleet, network, partnerships, and international presence we look forward to working together to deliver sustainable growth and a compelling future for the industry.”
The seven new destinations confirmed to be included in QR’s route network are Chittagong (CTG), Juba (JUB), Kinshasa (FIH), Lyon (LYS), Medan (KNO), Toulouse (TLS), and Trabzon (TZX). Additionally, the Asian carrier will be resuming services to big cities such as Beijing (PEK), Buenos Aires (EZE), Casablanca (CMN), and Tokyo-Haneda (HND), among others.
Qatar Airways also announced the increase of flight frequencies to up to 35 current destinations, which include Hong Kong (HKG), from 11 to 14 weekly, London-Heathrow (LHR), from 42 to 45 weekly, Milan (MXP), from 16 to 21 weekly, and Zurich (ZRH) from 10 to 14 weekly.
At the moment of writing, QR serves flights to more than 150 destinations worldwide, placing itself as one of the leading carriers for connecting traffic from America and Europe to Asia and the Pacific through its hub at the Doha-Hamad International Airport (DOH).
At Full Capacity After the World Cup
In November and December 2022, the tiny country of Qatar became the host of the world’s largest sports event in the world; the FIFA World Cup 2022. Because of that, Qatar Airways, which acts as the flag carrier of the country, started a massive temporary transformation that was dedicated to the air transport of soccer fans to Doha from all countries around the world.
To make this possible, Qatar Airways announced the organization of almost 100 charter flights from Doha to cities in 20 different countries like Madrid (MAD), London (LGW), and Sao Paulo (GRU). However, this meant that the airline was forced to reduce its regular capacity of regular services, cutting flights to 18 destinations to free up aircraft and to transfer slots to these additional services.
Now, five months later, the carrier is fully back in the market again, and, with today’s announcement, its presence as one of the most internationally connected airlines has been reinforced to remain in competition with neighboring carriers such as Emirates (EK), Turkish Airways (TK) or Etihad (EY).
Featured image: A Qatar airways 777-300ER. Photo: Daniel Crawford/Airways