Qatar Airways is too add 16 new routes to its network in 2018-19 including the first direct service to Luxembourg from the Gulf.
On the opening day of ITB Berlin yesterday, Qatar Airways Group chief executive, Akbar Al Baker announced the airline’s plans and revealed the 16 new destinations at a press conference.
Other destinations to be launched by the airline include London Gatwick Airport and Cardiff (UK); Lisbon (Portugal); Tallinn (Estonia); Valletta (Malta); Cebu and Davao (Philippines); Langkawi (Malaysia); Da Nang (Vietnam); Bodrum, Antalya and Hatay (Turkey); Mykonos and Thessaloniki (Greece); and Málaga (Spain).
In addition, services to Warsaw, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Prague and Kyiv will increase to a double daily frequency, while services to Madrid, Barcelona and the Maldives will increase to triple daily.
Al Baker, said: “Qatar Airways is tremendously excited to announce further expansion with a significant number of new destinations to be added to our extensive global network throughout 2018 and 2019.
“This is a direct reflection of our commitment to connecting travellers across all corners of the world in a way that is meaningful and convenient to them. We are committed to continuing our ambitious growth strategy, in order to be able to provide our passengers with as much choice as possible and to take them anywhere in the world they wish to go.”
Al Baker also spoke about the blockade imposed by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the UAE against Qatar: “During the blockade Qatar Airways continued its expansion; it continued its march ahead. We kept our country supplied and we became prouder as a nation.
“The blockade made my ruler an icon of defiance. Today, we are more independent than we were nine months ago. We are very defiant, and Qatar Airways will keep on expanding and keep on raising the flag for my country all over the globe.”
Qatar Airways currently operates a fleet of more than 200 aircraft via its hub, Hamad International Airport. Just last month, the airline welcomed the Airbus A350-1000, for which it is the global launch customer.