Spreading its wings
Qatar itself has one of the fastest-growing economies in the world and its national carrier — with Doha as its hub — is one of the fastest growing airlines in the world, currently flying to 48 destinations worldwide.
Within the coming two years, that is projected to rise to 60.
Ten new destinations were added in just nine months of 2003, starting with Rome, Manchester, and Kochi. “We will fly four times a week to Manchester using an Airbus A300, bringing our total weekly flights to the UK to 15 per week,” says Al Baker.
In addition, the airline started a service to the city of Kochi in Kerala, southern India, at the beginning of March, serving Kochi, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Trivandrum with 28 flights per week. What’s more, it launched its Oriental Express service to Shanghai and Seoul on October 29 last year becoming the first Middle Eastern airline to service South Korea.
Response from the markets was good, with the return flights almost fully booked and high demand for both cargo and passenger services on future flights.
Next, Qatar Airways went on to add a non-stop service to Tripoli on November 9 and before adding Vienna to its network later that month.
Less than one month later Qatar Airways’ new non-stop flight to Singapore touched down at Changi Airport.
Al Baker says, “As we continue to build an international route network of 60 destinations during the next two years, Qatar Airways will offer people a greater choice of destination, the latest in-flight services, and new aircraft.”
At the same time, Qatar Airways further extended its services to the Philippines with flights three times a week to Cebu, making it the airline’s 48th destination.
That, says Qatar Airways officials, represents the airline’s ongoing commitment to increase services to the Philippines and follows its decision to operate non-stop services to Manila, and to use the new state-of-the-art A330-200s between Manila and Doha.