Tourism, Cars, Traffic

Friday, 31 July 2009 11:11

QATAR AIRWAYS EXPANDS TO EUROPEAN CAPITALS

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{pp}40 Per Cent Increase In Frequency To Spain, Greece, Sweden And France

Fourth Anniversary Of Madrid Launch Celebrated With Daily Flights

Athens And Paris Services Rise To Double Daily

Stockholm Route Rises From Four To Five-Flights-A-Week.

Johannesburg, South Africa – Qatar Airways, which flies from Johannesburg to Doha daily and from there onward to 84 international destinations, today announced a significant increase in the number of flights to key European capital cities as part of its aggressive expansion programme to improve frequencies and offer South African passengers greater choice. Following the addition of three flights on the Doha–Paris route to make it a DOUBLE DAILY operation from October, Qatar Airways is now providing travelers from Johannesburg increased flight options to Madrid, Athens and Stockholm – representing a near 40 per cent increase in frequency across the four cities from their hub in Doha.

The Spanish capital Madrid will see an increase in the number of flights from the current four-a-week to DAILY, effective December 2, which marks the fourth anniversary of Qatar Airways’ launch on the route. Qatar Airways is the only airline offering local passengers flights between the Gulf region and Spain. News of the expansion comes as the carrier was named among the best airlines to Asia by readers of trade magazine, Agent Travel. Against fierce competition from established European carriers which offer one-stop services from Spain to the Asian continent via their hubs, Qatar Airways came up trumps in the prestigious annual awards.

The Doha-based airline has built up a strong reputation in the Spanish market since launching with four-flights-a-week to Madrid in December 2005. The Athens route, launched in June 2005, offers flights to South African travelers, via Doha, daily. Capacity is to rise over a five-month period beginning in October, with an eventual increase to DOUBLE DAILY services from March 2010. Stockholm will see its first frequency increase since flights to the Swedish capital were launched in November 2007. The addition of one extra weekly service every Thursday, beginning October 25, follows demand and the availability of aircraft. Also beginning October 25, the start of the Northern Winter schedules, the Paris route will see capacity rise from 11 to 14 flights a week offering South African passengers the option of a double daily service via Doha for the first time. Each of the European cities offers local passengers excellent connections via Doha to a wide network of business and leisure cities across the Middle East, Africa, South Asia and the Far East. With new routes being launched to Amritsar, Goa and Melbourne over the next five months, the additional European capacity will offer even more connecting opportunities.

Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker said the additional frequencies demonstrated the airline’s commitment to offer passengers greater choice. “We are constantly looking at ways to offer our passengers improved levels of service, more choice and more connections across our global network,” he said. “Europe is one of our most important regions representing around 20 per cent of our global coverage. With almost 40 per cent increase in frequency across four European capital cities from the start of the winter flying season in October, Qatar Airways is opening up greater opportunities to travel on business or leisure. “While many airlines are cutting back capacity in the current economic conditions, we strongly believe on building capacity to meet the needs of the travelling public, both in the short-term and long-term.” Added Qatar Airways’ London-based Senior Manager Europe Paul Johannes: “With this expansion, Qatar Airways continues to be a dynamic force in the European market. We look forward to offering even more convenience to our customers and, in particular, with the launch of flights to Amritsar, Goa and Melbourne, Europe will be a key feeder market to these destinations.”

Qatar Airways currently operates a modern fleet of 69 aircraft to 82 key business and leisure destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, South Asia, Far East and North America. The airline has outstanding orders for more than 220 aircraft worth over US$40 billion.

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