Qatar Airways Unveils Seven Route Additions
Qatar Airways is launching seven new routes to cities in Africa, Asia and Europe alongside the resumption of flights to 11 destinations. A further 35 markets will also see frequency increases.
Details of the planned network expansion were announced at tourism and travel trade show ITB Berlin by Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker, who said the oneworld member was open to forging more partnerships with other carriers—regardless of their alliance.
The seven points set to join Qatar Airways’ network are Chittagong, Bangladesh; Juba, South Sudan; Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo; Lyon and Toulouse, France; Medan, Indonesia; and Trabzon, Turkey.
These are the Doha-based carrier’s first connections to South Sudan and Democratic Republic of the Congo, increasing its Africa network to 30 destinations across 22 countries. Chittagong will become Qatar Airways’ second point in Bangladesh alongside the capital Dhaka, while Medan will be its third in Indonesia in addition to Jakarta and Bali.
On the new European services, Lyon and Toulouse will be the airline’s second and third points in France along with Paris Charles de Gaulle, while Trabzon will be its seventh city in Turkey.
Service to Trabzon will be the first of the seven to launch, starting on June 16, followed by Lyon on July 3. Flights to Medan are expected to commence on Jan. 15, 2024, and to Chittagong on March 11, 2024. The airline is yet to schedule the start of flights to Juba, Kinshasa and Toulouse.
Alongside the new routes, Qatar Airways has scheduled the resumption of flights to Beijing from March 26; Davao from April 1; Nice from May 9; Tokyo Haneda from June 1; Birmingham from July 10; Phnom Penh from Oct. 29; Ras Al-Khaimah from Nov. 1; Buenos Aries from Dec. 8; and Osaka from March 1, 2024. Casablanca and Marrakech will also return this year on unspecified dates.
Speaking at a press conference, Al Baker said the start dates, resumption dates and frequency increases could be brought forward depending on aircraft delivery timelines. “Both Airbus and Boeing are suffering from the same supply chain problems—and I think that the supply chain problem will last for a bit longer,” he said.
“A lot of our timeline for increasing frequencies is to be advised; it depends on how fast we will receive our planes. The aircraft deliveries are falling behind the timeline that aircraft manufacturers are contractually obliged to give to us. So, we will wait. We hope that things will improve, and we are confident it will improve.”
In February, Qatar Airways and Airbus agreed to settle their dispute around surface degradation issues affecting a large part of the airline’s A350 fleet. The move has seen orders for 23 more A350s and 50 A321neos be reinstated, which had been canceled during the course of the legal battle between the two parties over the past two years.
Al Baker said that Qatar Airways would be serving 174 destinations by the end of its 2023/24 fiscal year, adding that he expects an “unprecedented 21% growth” in flights from July 2023, versus July 2022.
He added the network expansion would contribute to further growing the tourism industry in Qatar, which welcomed 2.5 million visitors in 2022, up from 2.1 million in 2019. The nation hopes to attract more than 6 million tourists annually by 2030.