Qatar Airways eyes 50 destinations


Qatar Airways, one of the fastest growing airlines in the world, will fly to 50 destinations by 2004, the airline's chief executive officer Akbar Al Baker has said.

The airline registered 29 per cent annual growth for the last five years consecutively, he said.

As part of the airline's plan to cover important cities in the Far East, Africa and Europe, three new destinations, Casablanca, Milan and Riyadh, will be shortly added to its fast-expanding network, he said.

Al Baker said the company was optimistic of recovery of the aviation sector and would go ahead with its expansion plans.

"Our expansion plan has a target of 40 per cent increase in the number of passengers and increasing our fleet from the current 13 aircraft to 25 by 2004," Al Baker said.

Qatar Airways saw a 31 per cent increase in the number of passengers in February this year compared to last year.

He said ever since the airline introduced services to Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta, the flights had been carrying full load of passengers on these routes.

"Our quality service and passenger friendly attitude is conveyed and spread by word of mouth and we have been attracting passengers on these grounds," he said.

Muslim tourists from the Middle East feel at home in countries like Malaysia and Indonesia and Qatar Airways would promote these countries as favourite tourist destinations.

The national carrier will also organise familiarisation trips for foreign tour operators and journalists to Doha, he said.