QATAR Airways has entered 2007 in buoyant mood celebrating the 10th anniversary of its relaunch with nine new destinations planned during the year.
Dar es Salaam, the commercial and financial centre of Tanzania, becomes the newest addition to Qatar Airways’ family of routes when direct non-stop services were launched to the city on January 9. Qatar Airways will operate four flights a week between Doha International Airport and Mwalimu Julius Kambarage Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam.
The Doha-based airline sees 2007 as a year of huge expansion with non-stop services planned to key destinations around the world – Bali, New York, Lagos, Ho Chi Minh City, Chennai, Ahmedabad and two yet-to-be-announced cities in northern and eastern Europe.
Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker said 2007 was a year of massive expansion in frequencies, routes and aircraft. “This is a year of huge celebration for Qatar Airways. We have come a long way since our relaunch in 1997 when we operated a handful of aircraft to a handful of routes. Now, in our 10th anniversary year, we have exciting new destinations joining Qatar Airways’ growing network, together with more flights on existing routes to give passengers more choice, and brand new Airbus and Boeing aircraft joining the fleet with deliveries of the first of our Boeing 777s towards the end of 2007.”
Al Baker said the expansion reinforced the message that Qatar Airways was one of the fastest growing airlines in the world, with 70 destinations.
With a growing international network, he added that more travellers would have an opportunity to use Qatar Airways’ brand new Premium Terminal at Doha International Airport, exclusively for departing First and Business Class passengers.
The airline will soon be connecting all its outstation units to its reservations host to create a fully-managed networked environment, and has awarded Sita a five-year, $30-million contract in this connection to build and maintain an advanced telecommunications network infrastructure. Sita, a provider of information and telecommunications solutions to the air transport industry, is creating a fully-managed global intranet which leverages a suite of TCP/IP protocols operating over Sita's IP Virtual Private Network (IP VPN), the largest such network in the world, according to media reports.
Meanwhile, the airline also said it had won the right to increase flights to India to 49 a week from 30 to tap rising travel demand between the world's second-most populous nation and GCC countries. Besides new routes to Chennai and Ahmedabad, effective immediately, the airline will double the number of seats available each week to Mumbai and Trivandrum by using bigger aircraft, it said. It will also add flights to the cities of Cochin and Hyderabad.
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