Qatar continues route expansion

DOHA, 29 December 2017: Qatar Airways looks ahead to 2018, promising the launch of services to new destinations.

The line up includes new flights to Penang, Malaysia; Canberra, Australia; Thessaloniki, Greece and Cardiff, Wales, the airline’s fifth UK gateway.

The airline will also be the global launch customer for the Airbus A350-1000 in 2018.

Despite a challenging regional environment, the airline continued to deliver beyond expectations , the airline reported in a yea-end wrap up of its performance.

It accelerated the introduction of new routes, doubling frequencies and capacity to numerous destinations and launching its new business class seat, Qsuite.

Qatar Airways Group chief executive, Akbar Al Baker said: “We remain committed to expanding our global network to focus on how we can deliver a five-star experience to every one of our passengers, no matter what class they travel.”

Qatar Airways launched 11 new destinations in 2017, including Auckland, New Zealand,  Chiang Mai, Thailand and St. Petersburg, Russia.

In addition to launching flights to Chiang Mai, its fourth destination in Thailand, the airline also introduced a fifth daily nonstop service to Bangkok as well as a daily service to Krabi. In January 2018, it will commence service to Pattaya, the airline’s fifth Thai destination.

Qatar Airways will also add a new direct daily service to Hanoi, with Ho Chi Minh City’s daily service increasing by three flights a week to 10 starting 1 January 2018.

Qatar Airways also doubled its frequencies to a number of destinations in Eastern Europe and Russia, following a significant increase in passenger demand to the popular destinations of Warsaw, Helsinki, and Moscow, with increases to Prague and Kyiv following just shortly after the launch of the routes themselves.

Qatar Airways took delivery of 19 new aircraft in 2017, taking its total fleet to 212 aircraft. The airline also recently upsized an earlier order for 50 Airbus A320neo with a firm order instead for 50 of the larger A321neo ACF (Airbus Cabin Flex configuration), in an order signed earlier this month.

In November, it announced an acquisition in fellow oneworld member Cathay Pacific, purchasing approximately 9.61 per cent of Cathay Pacific’s total issued share capital.