Qatar Airways: Rapid growth
Qatar Airways continues to grow at a phenomenal pace, having just launched non-stop flights between Doha and Jakarta for the first time to meet growing demand for direct services.
Two of the airline’s seven weekly flights between both cities now operate non-stop. The remaining five flights will continue to be served via the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur.
Qatar Airways chief executive officer Akbar Al Baker says the new non-stop services reflected the airline’s commitment to provide improved flights between its Doha hub and the Indonesian capital.
“Indonesia is one of our best-selling markets in South-East Asia and we are pleased to be able to offer non-stop services to Jakarta for the first time,’’ he says.
‘‘Non-stop ensures we provide shorter flying times making it more convenient for our passengers. Qatar is home to many Indonesians and there are strong trade links and traffic between both countries, which makes our non-stop flights even more viable.
‘‘We hope to eventually operate all our Jakarta flights non-stop over time.”
Meanwhile, Qatar Airways is now busy with its summer programme, with the Japanese city of Osaka joining the airline’s network from March 31, and Tunis and Algiers set to follow on May 2.
Qatar Airways currently operates scheduled flights from its Doha hub 59 destinations across Europe, Middle East, Africa, Indian subcontinent and the Far East. New destinations added in recently have included Seychelles, Johannesburg, Cape Town, London Gatwick and Yangon in Myanmar
The airline plans to operate to 70 destinations by the end of 2005.
Qatar Airways is extremely bullish about 2005 and is developing at a rapid pace to meet demand for services to high-yield business and leisure destinations.
It has begun introducing brand new A330-300 long-haul aircraft into the fleet with a state-of-the-art ‘audio video on demand’ entertainment system and a new-look First Class and Business Class cabin. The First Class environment mirrors a restaurant atmosphere where ‘buddy’ seats opposite each First Class seat allow two facing passengers to share a meal for two.
Qatar Airways also boasts the biggest individual video screens in its premium cabins in the Middle East (15-inch in Business and First Class), while the entire aircraft has soft blue mood lighting to ease the strain on passengers’ eyes during night flights. The airline is also planning a new inflight catering concept which will be unveiled during the course of the year.
“Even though we are expanding at this rate, we have maintained – and even improved – our service standards,” says Al Baker.