Expansion at Qatar

QATAR Airways used ITB Berlin to announce three cities that will join its rapidly growing global network during the second half of 2011, part of a continued expansion strategy focused on new routes and capacity increases.

India, Norway and Bulgaria have been earmarked for new route development as the airline spelled out its ongoing commitment to international growth, targeting both popular and underserved markets in Europe, the Middle East, North America and Asia from its Doha hub.

Airline CEO Akbar Al Baker unveiled the latest expansion which will see daily flights to the eastern Indian city of Kolkata, launching on July 27. In Europe, the airline will run four flights a week to the Bulgarian capital Sofia from September 14 and beginning October 5, Qatar Airways will build on its successful operations in Scandinavia with the start of five flights weekly to Norway’s capital city of Oslo.

The Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Manchester and Dar Es Salaam routes will go double daily while Geneva, the Seychelles and Copenhagen will be upgraded to daily operations.

This week, Qatar Airways embarked on the latest phase of its 2011 expansion drive launching three-flights-a-week to Stuttgart – its fourth German gateway. On April 6, the airline will launch non-stop flights from Doha to Aleppo – the airline’s milestone 100th destination. In June, three recently-announced routes to Shiraz (June 5), Venice (June 15) and Montreal (June 29), the airline’s first move into Canada, will take flight.