Qatar Airways announces expansion to three continents

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Qatar Airways announces expansion to three continents
Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker is joined by Country Manager UAE Fadi Hijazin as the airline announces its expansion on three continents during a packed press conference on the opening day of Arabian Travel Market (ATM) – the Middle East’s premier travel show – taking place in Dubai this week. Photo-Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways has announced expansion of its routes to three continents including Africa, Asia and North America.

On September 18th, the Doha based carrier will include the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa to its flight destinations,  making it the 20th destination within the African continent.

On October 28th, Qatar Airways will add Clark International Airport in the Philippines to its profile.

On March 1st 2014, Philadelphia will become the airline’s fifth US gateway.

The expansion plans were announced by the Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker during a press conference on the opening day of Arabian Travel Market (ATM), taking place in Dubai this week.

“Yet again Qatar Airways is bucking the trend across the industry demonstrating that we are resilient in times of global economic austerity because while others are cutting back, we see the opportunities to expand our global footprint. Our three new routes we are announcing today show we have faith in expanding our operations across different continents. This year for example has certainly been the year of growth in the Middle East with five of our eight scheduled route launches in the region alone.

We stepped up capacity to the United States, introducing Chicago as our fourth US gateway last month and will now add Philadelphia next year.

Philadelphia is one of the major hubs of the soon-to-be-merged American Airlines / US Airways and will provide Qatar Airways’ customers with onward connections to over 100 cities across the US.

With the implementation of code share agreements with American Airlines and JetBlue which offer numerous connections beyond our US gateways, Qatar Airways is making big strides to strengthen its presence in the United States to ultimately give our passengers greater travel options.”

Joining the oneworld global alliance later this year will also present tremendous travel options and benefits to our passengers and to those of partner carriers in the alliance.

We have been looking to fly to the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa for some time, and extremely delighted we will be able to do so later year as new aircraft join the fleet. And Clark International Airport in the Philippines provides us with great opportunities to boost our presence in the Greater Manila area and northern region of Luzon Island. This comes as good news for the well travelled Filipino community with ever increasing demand for flights to and from the country.” — Qatar Airways Chief Executive Officer Akbar Al Baker

As part of its aggressive growth strategy, Qatar Airways is also seeking to increase its capacity to Pakistan where it currently operates 17 flights each week across four cities of Karachi, Islamabad, Lahore and Peshawar. Beginning next month from June 1, Qatar Airways will step up frequency to Pakistan by 60% to 28 flights each week – Karachi up from daily to double daily; Lahore from four to seven flights a week; and Peshawar securing an additional flight to three services each week.

Al Baker went on to explain the importance of growth in Pakistan, saying, “We have had a well established operation in Pakistan for many years, but have always been looking to increase frequency and now thanks to new agreements in place between the relevant authorities, we can soon enjoy more capacity between Qatar and Pakistan.”

“Our customers can expect more choice from next month when we increase frequency to three key cities in Pakistan.”

In just 16 years of operations, Qatar Airways has seen rapid growth. Currently the Airline boasts of flying a modern fleet of 124 aircraft to 126 key business and leisure destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific and the Americas.

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